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Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper The Game, June 2008 19
He did however bene t from a letter-perfect steer by the underrated but highly capable jockey Ted Colangelo. In a huge seventeen horse  eld where the chances for trouble were immense, the crafty rider saved precious ground early, found room for his charge to come outside on the  nal turn and let the big horse roll in the stretch on his way to an impressive win.
#5- Scatter The Gold’s victory in the 2000 Queen’s Plate was a particularly poignant one.
His owner-breeder, Ernie Samuels, a titan of the turf in this country, passed away the month be- fore. The colt’s win was an uplifting moment
for the mourning family and was particularly satisfying as he was the son of their greatest runner, the brilliant  lly Dance Smartly, the 1991 Plate champion. This favourable result in the  rst Plate of the new millennium was not exactly expected. Scatter The Gold was a maiden and supposedly the weaker half of a stable entry. He nonetheless scored a decisive triumph of over four lengths and proved the win no  uke by coming right back to take the Prince of Wales Stakes. Unfortunately he failed in his bid for a Triple Crown sweep in the Breeders Stakes. With his royal pedigree, as a son of Mr. Prospector from a Breeder’s Cup winning dam, he was coveted internationally as a stallion prospect. He was retired before the season’s end and sold to Japan. He was thus just a  eeting star that past over the Canadian racing horizon. He would however be remembered the following year when his full sister Dancethruthedawn also won the Plate, completing a truly rare feat by opposite sex siblings.
#4- In almost every  eld of endeavour there is
a trailblazer, one that goes ahead and sets a path
for others to follow. In Canadian horse racing the great trailblazer was Victoria Park. He proved that thoroughbreds born and raised in this country could compete at the highest level anywhere by placing in two classics, the Kentucky Derby and the Preak- ness. When owner E. P. Taylor bypassed a chance to run in the Belmont Stakes to bring the colt home to showcase him in the Plate, Victoria Park and his rider, the incomparable Avelino Gomez, did not disappoint. They set a new stakes record of 2:02,
a very commendable time. They utterly routed
their rivals, winning by nearly eight lengths. The colt was so favoured by the crowd that he returned the legal minimum of $2.10, going off at an even shorter price than stablemate Northern Dancer would four years later. Victoria Park went on to
be a top sire and had a great in uence on the Plate
itself, siring three consecutive winners of the race, Almoner, Kennedy Road and Victoria Song.
#3- The 1970s was a vintage decade for Queen’s Plate winners. The two outstanding Buckpasser colts, L’Enjoleur and Norcliffe won consecutive editions in 1975 and 1976. In 1978 Wind elds’ Regal Embrace denied the great Overskate a Plate win. However the runner I’d rate the best of an out- standing group was the 1971 victor, Kennedy Road. I’d cite several reasons for coming to that conclu- sion. He was a Canadian divisional champion on four successive occasions and Horse of the Year at age  ve. The  eld he beat in the Plate was a small but stellar group and included subsequent multiple stakes winner Fabe Count, the ultra consistent but ill-fated Great Gabe, the stretch-out sprinter and top racehorse and sire, Briartic and Lord Vancouver who went on to place in the Canadian International. Kennedy Road didn’t just beat this  ne cast of runners, he humbled them with an ultra handy score. His chief claim to fame was his performance at age  ve when he won multiple top-level stakes in California, including the Hollywood Gold Cup in the excellent time of 159 2/5. As an encore he returned to Woodbine and broke the six furlong track record, posting a blazing clocking of 1:08 3/5. What a versatile classy horse he was and he had the gorgeous good looks to match his talent.
#2- When the unheralded Awesome Again
won the 1997 Plate, he started a trend that would become more common in subsequent years. His only achievement coming in was a maiden win
at Hollywood Park. Unlike in preceding de-
cades, when most top contenders were leading
two year olds of the previous season, now some
of the favorites and/or eventual winners would
be relative newcomers on the scene who would use the Plate to  rst establish their worth. That may not have been what race publicists or even the fans would have preferred, as it took away some from the months’ long build-up to the race. However in Awesome Again’s case at least it gave the Woodbine public a glimpse at a runner that would go on to accomplish great things. The Frank Stronach colourbearer developed into a top class performer in the United States with several stakes victories, culminating in a triumph in the Breeder’s Cup Classic. This was probably the most important win by a Canadian bred since Northern Dancer’s Kentucky Derby triumph and Nijinsky’s sweep of the English Triple Crown. Awesome Again proved that the Plate, although a restricted race, could have
major implications on the world racing stage. He has since established himself as a fantastic sire, fathering U.S. Horse of the Year, Ghostzapper, one of the most remarkable runners of recent times, Eclipse Award winner Ginger Punch and many other top tier performers. He de nitely ranks as one of this continent’s most important current stallions.
#1- As a youngster in the late  fties and early sixties, I spent many of my Sunday afternoons at the old Wind elds Farm on York Mills Road. We lived nearby and visitors were welcome. I was
there so often that I knew which horse was in what stall without even looking at the nameplates. When they brought the coming two year olds over from the yearling barns across the road in the winter of 1962-63, in the last stall on the southwest corner of the big barn with the galloping ring outside was an unnamed colt by Nearctic out of the Native Dancer dam, Natalma. He didn’t catch my eye for his looks but I was a pedigree buff even then, so I knew he was very well bred. The next time that I took notice of him was in August of the same year. In checking the Fort Erie results in the newspaper, I saw that
the colt with that breeding had won his maiden race and was called Northern Dancer. I saw him race a couple of times that autumn at Woodbine and when he impressively won the Coronation Futurity, I and everyone else who were there that day knew we had seen a very promising individual. Just how good he was ,we had no idea. Flash forward to June 1964. Northern Dancer was coming home a national hero, not so much to compete in the Queen’s Plate but
to put in a personal appearance before his legion
of fans. The Kentucky Derby winner did not let down his throng of supporters. Although last at one point and temporarily blocked, he went from sixth to  rst in a single call and then just toyed with his outclassed foes as the partisan crowd screamed him home. There were two things that neither we in the grandstand nor the horse’s handlers knew that day. It was sadly to be his  nal race and he would go on to be the most signi cant stallion in the modern history of the sport. Northern Dancer made his Queen’s Plate the most memora- ble in the event’s long and storied history. It’s most improbable that Canadians will ever see his like again.
Hastings Hockey Team Advances To Western Championship By Jackie Humber
The eventual winning team in the same division as the Polar Beer was the Edmonton Warriors who will ad- vance to The North American Championship in San Jose, California. “That championship is held in the spring of ’09 and the winning team gets $1,000 dollars towards travel expenses and the $500 dollar pre-paid entry fee. Also the runner up team, which was the Kronies were also invited to go and they will get their $500 dollar pre-paid entry fee,” said Rainville.
Hastings Trainer, Rob Gilker, (# 2) looks to clear the rebound
After playing a regular season of 28 games plus winning 4 playoff games, the Hastings Racecourse Polar Beers hockey team advanced as their league champi- ons to the Adult Safe Hockey League Western Regional Championships.
Championship Tournament. In their  rst game on May 16, the Polar Beers lost 8-0 to the Edmonton Warriors. However Polar Beers player, Demetrius Topouzis gave an explanation that only a racetracker could understand. “We were playing a team like $50,000 claimers and we are only $11,000 claimers,” said Topouzis.
The 68- team Tournament was held at CANLAN Ice Sports-Burnaby 8 Rinks. The Championship is between teams from Alberta and B.C. The 15- member Polar Beers team is made up of trainers, gallopers, gate- crew- mem- bers and some of their buddies.
In their second game, held the next day, the Polar Beers, despite playing a tighter game, were defeated 5-1 by a team named The Kronies. Their third and  nal game was played the same night with only an hour and a half break in between. Despite having to play back-to-back games the Polar Beers played a close game losing by only one goal in a 4-3 loss to the North Shore Club.
According to Team captain, Trainer Craig MacPherson, the team has been playing together for quite some time. “The core group of guys have been playing together now for about 8 years. Mainly its trainers and gallopers but everyone is welcome,” said MacPherson.
Even after having worked at the races all day and then playing two-hockey games, player Robbie Henson had
no excuses. “We never complain about being tired cause that’s no excuse. We came to play and that’s what we did,” said Henson.
Each team member is responsible for the fee of $750 dollars each, which also covers insurance and entry fees into tournaments. “Our uniforms were donated by a
client of (Trainer) Steve Henson’s, so that was great,” said MacPherson.
MacPherson also gave praise to their goalie, Kyle Beech, who played every minute of each game. “He’s really our mainstay that’s for sure,” said MacPherson.
The Polar Beers played three games during the
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