As the province is under a stay-at-home order effective midnight tonight, we are saddened to hear that the 2021 Woodbine racing season will be delayed until at least early-mid May when the order is lifted. The season originally was to start next weekend.
We understand the community’s frustration as so much work has gone into getting ready for the start of the season and it feels with such uncertainty we are at the mercy of late-coming updates. We also feel the frustration of business owners and their employees, and how difficult it must be not knowing how to plan when things are so uncertain.
However, if this is what it will take to get through this pandemic safely, we are in full support as the positive COVID-19 cases in Ontario continue reaching highs.
That being said, we were so excited to see MR WILL make his four-year-old debut, but alas will have to wait just a little bit longer. He has never trained better than he has now. His Trainer and Co-Owner Michelle Love tells us he’s extremely sharp and after experiencing an abscess in his mouth a couple weeks ago which is now healed, he’s shown he’s all business. He delivered a powerful workout under leading rider Emma-Jayne Wilson last week which was impressive! So honoured he’s learning under her and we hear she was pleased with his work.
One of MR WILL‘s normal exercise riders Kristen Alderson is expecting her second child with Jeffrey Alderson and she gave him a final breeze couple weeks back. We wish her all the best and that she has a safe delivery. We thank her for everything and hope to see her back again one day soon – but not too soon!
While 2020 left much to be desired, we look back and are grateful Prince (MR WILL) and Princess (A PIC BY MRWILL) are happy and healthy at their homes. We were so happy to get to catch-up with them over the Holidays.
While there were limited spots to race near the end of the season and the 2020 meet at Woodbine Racetrack being curtailed, MR WILL never got his last chance to break his maiden. That being said, we’re so proud of how hard he tried all year, picking-up cheques for his owners Michelle Love, Big Willow Stables, Chris Atkinson and Justin Kleiber in four out of five starts. He was so close, placing second twice, almost taking it all.
We’re of the firm belief everything happens for a reason and we are looking forward to the 2021 meet where we are certain MR WILL will find his way to the Winner’s Circle. Hopefully our COVID numbers will be under control by then and we’ll be able to see you there!
William has recovered well from his surgery with Dr. Orlaith Cleary at Toronto Equine Hospital late November to repair a knee chip. This is a common procedure and he already has had his bandages removed and is on stall rest, getting the occasional hand-walk around the barn for activity. His appetite is definitely great, snooping around in everyone else’s feed tub!
Some snaps on a visit pre-Christmas with his godsister, beanie!
Always a joy catching-up with Princess who fully has adjusted with her pack of mares as an outdoor girl. So cool seeing her mom Emily‘s barn get built and it’s coming along nicely. Soon she will have her own stall indoors again! Love being her “human” and how protective she is of me when I visit with treats, blocking the other mares from me. That’s my girl!
Happy Halloween! It’s one of our favourite times of the year and we’re so happy to see MR WILL back in action this weekend at Woodbine Racetrack. This will be his fifth start and as we’ve seen from most of his races, he usually delivers a good effort.
Most recently October 2, 2020, he ran a game second as the favourite leading all the way only to get caught right before the wire. Twice in a row now he’s been hooked on the lead all the way. He’s stepping-up in class for this start and trying grass for the first time.
His last race:
A quick glance at his lineage, his sire Not Bourbon is full of turf leanings, tracing back to Northern Dancer and Sadler’s Wells. His great-great-granddam Willamar smashed a track record at Woodbine sprinting on the grass. MR WILL‘s built stocky and compact and should do great at five furlongs on the grass. If not, it’s worth a shot because opportunities to race on the grass are running out with the end of the season approaching!
Also, congrats to Chris Atkinson and Justin Kleiber who just recently bought shares in MR WILL. Welcome to the family, guys!
Trainer and part-Owner Michelle Love is confident he’s ready to run!
While we can’t visit the backstretch still, we Amazoned some of his favourites to him. Good luck, MR WILL!
MR WILL appears in race 6 at Woodbine, #8 at 3:44 PM ET Sunday, November 1, 2020.
On the Princess side of things, we’re told A PIC BY MRWILL is doing great, enjoying her time being a horse living outdoors. Her Mom Emily has been very busy of late winterizing her farm, so not so many pics to share right now! We also ensured she got her Halloween delivery! Miss her.
It’s crunch time! With just a couple months left in the 2020 racing season at Woodbine, the opportunities to win are numbered and we found a gem of an opportunity for William (MR WILL)!
After a gruelling speed duel in his last race on September 13, 2020 at Woodbine, he hung-on to get fourth, bringing home a hard-earned paycheque. He battled through fractions of 22, 44.4, 57.4 pressured the entire way before giving way late.
See the race:
We’re thrilled to see MR WILL back at it in his fourth try Friday, October 2, 2020 at Woodbine, Race 1. He will be ready to fire!
In preparation for the race, he put in a sharp breeze the other day and he looks ready to go again!
On the Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) front, we hear she’s doing quite well per her Mom Emily Fisher. As she’s lived indoors much of her life, getting used to the outdoors has taken a bit of time to get used to but she’s definitely begun to take a liking to it and she’s putting on a bit of weight again. Love it!
Congrats to Emily who recently acquired track veteran Cummings Road as an addition to Princess‘ family. The war horse won 11 races in his career and over $320k! We hope to pop by for a visit soon!
He’s back! Just after the anniversary of his being purchased by Michelle Love at the CTHS Premier Yearling Sale in 2018, our William (MR WILL) is scheduled to make his third start ever at Woodbine Racetrack this Sunday, September 13, 2020, race 8, approximately 4:40 PM ET. Princess (A PIC BY MRWILL) also went through that same sale in 2015!
We hope our friends all got what they wanted at this year’s sale. Can’t wait to see new talent at the track next year!
While William‘s last race was disappointing, it was not without reason. After a bit of bumping and being forced wide, he decided to pack it in after stepping-up a bit in class against tougher competition. The top-two finishers were well-meant, so we have absolutely no hard feelings about it. Mr Will returned to his barn full of fire and ready to attack, knowing he was capable of more. He also had a cut on his now-healed hock. Understandably, all these challenges combined made for a less than stellar effort.
Since then, he’s posted a couple breezes in the morning. A couple weeks ago, he went with a horse from Nicholas Gonzalez‘s barn who ran last Sunday in a tough Allowance race and lost narrowly in a multi-horse photo finish to get fourth, so that bodes well. He also did a little tune-up a few days back and Michelle tells us he galloped out strongly. Hoping this confidence transfers to the track in this next race as his first race was so solid and promising. He was meant to run last week although the race didn’t fill completely, so here’s his chance.
I was so happy to be able to see him in-person again in his last race. The last time I saw him was March. Rest assured, I came armed with goodies – he only loves Peppermints (trust me, he’s rejected fancy horsey biscuits from me) – and a stuffie for him. He may be growing-up quickly but he’s still my little boy. You can bet I’ll be there to show him my support!
Some snaps I got of him:
A huge congrats goes to Michelle, who notched her first stakes-placing Sunday in the $250k Simcoe Stakes with Took a Wrong Turn! The talented young man by sire Souper Speedy got third, confirming the potential she saw in him!
We also caught-up with Princess for the first time since the Pandemic started. So happy to see her adjusting to life at her new home with her Mom Emily Fisher. She is so lucky to live in such a beautiful space, with plenty of room to run. As she’s spent much of her life living indoors and recovering in a stall, this change has taken a bit of getting used to. For one, she’s very used to being socialized around people hence admittedly is a bit of a ‘loner’ when it comes to playing with her new sisters who have all gotten acquainted with one another over the years. She will get there and we can confirm, she still LOVES to eat, knowing exactly what ensues when she gets a visit from me! Have missed her so much. Best of luck to Emily and Lakeside Retreat as they embark on their Eventing career together.
Some snaps. And yes, she still does that adorable thing with her front legs when she eats.
Wish us luck! Thanks for all your continued interest and support!
We hope it isn’t long before you are able to be back at Woodbine too and also that you have fun enjoying the Queen’s Plate from home!
We hope your long weekend is starting great! Amazing news! Our boy MR WILL is back and ready to rumble in his second race ever, Thursday, August 7, 2020, race 5 at Woodbine Racetrack! We’re so thrilled that we’ve been invited as a guest to watch him race amidst COVID-19 precautions.
In case you missed it, his debut on July 2, 2020 was aired nationally on TSN‘s RACING NIGHT LIVE and he ran a smashing race, pressuring the pace all the way, never backing down to finish a game second. The betting public let him get away at a big 15-1 odds, but we feel his odds will be much lower this time around based on that run under jockey David Moran.
Here is the race:
We couldn’t be happier and prouder of MR WILL. And if we were going to come second, we couldn’t be more pleased coming second to DOUBLE THE HEART from Team John Ross, who gifted me with the experience of our dear Princess (A PIC BY MRWILL). That one race earned him $7,110 paying back his original purchase price and more.
See how proud he was of himself after the race! He’s honestly just adorable! He loves to race!
MR WILL has taken a while to get to the races, but is proving well worth the wait. He is coming into this second race in amazing shape and his main obstacle is a step-up in class. He ran a very quick race the first time out garnering an 84 Speed Figure on Equibase, and looked like he has it in him to go a little bit further.
While he’s never been known to throw “bullet” workouts in the morning, he does just enough to get fit and doesn’t usually let his workmates pass him. Owner/Trainer Michelle Love is having a productive season so far and we’re hoping MR WILL notches her another win to reward her for her excellent work!
In preparation for the race, he’s put-in a solid workout and is as sharp as ever!
Wish us luck! Hope you make some money! We’ll be extra careful following some strict COVID-19 safety guidelines in order to enjoy the race. But we’ll take lots of pics!
Meanwhile on the Princess front, she’s been loving life with her family at her newly-renovated home with her Mama Emily Fisher. Outdoor life doesn’t look like it’s been too tough a transition for her. She’s never been happier! Gotta love how she still lifts one leg up while enjoying something yummy! Love it!
After a long journey here, we’re thrilled to announce Mr Will will make his debut at the races very soon! The race goes off Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Woodbine Racetrack, Race 8 at 7:15 PM ET. If you have the HPI Channel, please remember to tune in and put in a wager on the HPI app! The race also will be on TSN Racing Night Live before a national audience! If you’re in the US, watch and wager with TVG!
After multiple setbacks which prevented him from making his start last season, our boy has been training very well and Owner/Trainer Michelle Love was very impressed with his final tune-up which saw him out-work his workmates, feeling great after. While the race is late in the day, we think they’ll be great together! We’re not expecting perfection, but this start should give him the foundation to build on as he looks to have speed and talent.
Aboard Mr Will for this start is David Moran, who is riding amazingly-well thus far this season including a stakes win on wondermare Jean Elizabeth who notched her eighth straight stakes win last weekend, at Woodbine.
Also, a huge congrats to Michelle and Team who notched their first score this season today at Woodbine with Ezme’sgirl! Nikki Alderson who has been instrumental getting Mr Will in-shape in the mornings also got her first win ever at Woodbine!
We see also A Pic by Mrwill‘s former Trainer and Owner John Ross also is in the race with Double the Heart. Good luck to him and all entrants!
We’re gutted COVID-19 restrictions won’t allow us to be there but we will be cheering from home! We hope you’ll join us! We appreciate your support!
And in the blink of an eye the 2020 season has begun at Woodbine Racetrack! We heard the cries of frustration of the racing community and we couldn’t be happier for them. While we won’t be permitted to watch races in-person for a bit, watching them on TV from home gives us a bit of comfort seeing familiar faces once again, even if from afar. The purses are bigger than ever, the daily handles are gastronomical. Some new stars are emerging and some are back with a vengeance!
Racing went off without a hitch on opening weekend @WoodbineTB. The combined Saturday/Sunday handle was a solid $11.3 million. Racing resumes Thursday. No Friday card this week. #woodbine
Much credit goes to the team at Woodbine for ensuring everything was to standard and beyond getting the athletes and workers to this stage.
We had so much fun catching-up with some of our closest racing friends over Zoom today and we all agree we can’t wait to see each other again at the track. So blessed to have met so many friends in the community whom we’ve developed such strong bonds with that extend beyond the races. We were planning our road trips as soon as we’re permitted to be at the races again and already have a list of tracks to visit!
One question that popped-up was when Mr Will is going to make his big debut! We’re thrilled to confirm that it’s happening soon, according to his Owner/Trainer Michelle Love. Physically, he’s never looked stronger and we are so grateful for the patience his Exercise Rider Nikki Alderson and Michelle have shown him. He does continue to throw some speedy workouts, which might go unnoticed when 150 horses are training at the same distance on the same day, many with much more experience than him. We learned that William‘s gate training was his biggest obstacle showing his teenage moodiness and reluctance to go in, but we’re thrilled to report that he got his “Gate Card” this past weekend. This means that he’s met the standard to begin racing soon! We’re overjoyed.
William has been working in company and keeping-up with his stablemate Bend in the River who lost only narrowly today in his second race. Sadly, his buddy was claimed by a new Owner and Trainer, but Michelle had done an amazing job with that one getting him ready. We’re confident William will make us proud as he figures out what it is to be a racehorse. We don’t expect him to get it right off the bat. Like us, sometimes we take a few tries to get it. Don’t be surprised if you see his name in the entries really soon!
He did a bit of schooling today with Jayne, his Caretaker and Michelle tells us he was on his best behaviour.
We all love Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) and while this isolation period has us missing our Mr Will and Princess time, it gives us great reassurance knowing how well cared-for they are. Princess and her family have moved to a fantastic facility temporarily while her forever home is completing renovation at her Mom Emily Fisher‘s private residence. She misses her little brothers Freddy and Eddy so much, the latter who loves to chase her and the girls around, keeping them fit! But they will be reunited soon!
2020 has been awful challenging. Believe me, our hearts are with the Horse Racing community right now with racing cancelled or postponed both sides of the border, with a select few racetracks continuing operations with access restricted to the public. With the 2020 season postponed indefinitely at Woodbine Racetrack, we are glad that safety of the community is being placed first on the backstretch. At the same time, we worry for our friends whose livelihoods depended on that initial April 18, 2020 start date and also the concerned owners who have to wait even longer for a return on investment from their stock. We know for certain this period of isolation amidst COVID-19 worries, will continue into the Summer and our racing season’s marquee event the Queen’s Plate, accordingly has followed suit in its postponement.
Despite all this, we have our health and safety to treasure and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else than Canada where at a provincial and federal level, the situation has been handled in an exemplary manner. The 2020 racing season will commence at some point and those fruits of labour also will come. Sending all my support and encouragement that while times are harrowing and tough right now, we are all in this for the long haul and we are not alone in our losses. While setbacks are temporary, resilience will prevail in the end. Let’s not obsess about things that weigh-down our spirits, but instead do all we can do to help us all get back to business as soon and safe as possible. Know at the end of the day those fans will be there to cheer the community on at the end of the tunnel when time allows.
That being said, we were so excited to see Mr Will return to training last month after nursing a minor injury over the winter. The time away looks to be paying off. His Owner/Trainer Michelle Love reports to us after outfinishing his workmate under exercise rider Nikki Alderson, “Our boy came out of his workout better then ever!! He thinks he’s a racehorse now. All business.”. That brings me joy and he just returned home again for some rest with the delayed start of the racing season. His much anticipated debut will come before we know it and we know it will be so worth it!
Some Snaps of Mr Will‘s first jog on Woodbine‘s Training Track under Love, accompanied by his Dad, Rob Love, Woodbine’s Head Outrider. It was awful quiet that morning, being frigid out, but he was super-professional!
Mr Will also was paired again with Jayne Smith, who always gives him that extra bit of loving care.
…and of course a new Snuggle Buddy for our little champ! He loves his plushies.
Did I tell you how Mr Will and Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) finally met? I was overjoyed seeing them together at last! Mr Will and some of the babies from Love’s stable were brought to the facility where Princess is boarded for some schooling earlier this year. They hit it off just great!
Princess continues to thrive in her life of retirement. Her Mom Emily Fisher (second photo, above) has done a fantastic job nursing her back to wellness and socializing her with her new family. Princess always has been a special filly, perhaps getting along better with humans than horses. You might recall she almost lost her life as a baby, getting nursed back to health by caretakers and of course our constant pampering made her lose sight of who she really is. She’s adjusted beautifully, enjoying her time outdoors in the company of her family.
Happy Holidays, from our dear Prince (Mr Will) and Princess (A Pic by Mrwill)! We hope that yours are filled with joy and happiness – from our gorgeous equine family to yours!
So happy to see Princess coming around so well and become who she was meant to become. She’s calmed-down significantly in recent months and I love that she’s made a circle of friends at her farm. Because she’s so used to having been around people, she’s missed the opportunity to socialize like a horse. Recent retiree Corey’s Best (by Seeking the Best) is an earner of almost $150k for Trainer Ron Sadler who was taken-in by some amazing people. She now lives across the hall from Princess, who has taken to her like a big sister, the two enjoying lots of play time together outside and of course, sharing mama Emily!
Their neighbour, Fort Erie‘s reigning Horse of the Year Sniper also is loving his life at the farm as well. Handsome devil.
Emily has taught Princess a few tricks including a bow. She completely has filled-out now and motherhood definitely is in the books at some point with Emily having narrowed it down to a few options for stallions. We can’t wait! Maybe 2020 will be the year.
There’s a new kitty on the block and we love Chico, who belongs to Melissa Girard, a groom to Trainer Julie Belhumeur at Woodbine. Chico is staying at the farm this winter and it seems Princess has taken to the adorable boy (as have I!).
Mr Will continues to enjoy life at the farm surrounded by some new additions to the family by his mom, Michelle, including yearling fillies by Bear’s Kid and red-hot Souper Speedy. His training mate Show Some Skin (nicknamed Anastasia), also by Souper Speedy, put in a fantastic run at the end of the Woodbine meet, finishing second after being bet-down as the heavy-favourite under Patrick Husbands. Big things are definitely ahead for her.
While he had some minor setbacks in 2019, we’re excited for Prince to make his debut at Woodbine as a three-year-old, which suits us just fine as he’s definitely bred to get better with age being by Queen’s Plate winner Not Bourbon.
Here he is with his big sis Bear Kitty (left) who just loves to boss him around, though he doesn’t mind!
And here he is with his said two new baby sisters and his family!
One more signature Selfie for 2019 with Princess and Prince!
May your 2020 be filled with dreams fulfilled and conquered goals!