Page 21 - June 2008 The Game
P. 21

Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper
The Game, June 2008 21
Vancouver, B.C. May 23 — May Stakes recap: Just a few weeks in and the new season has started to look much like the previous one with Terry Jordan and Troy Taylor divvying up all the marbles.
has seen for many years. Easily win- ning the May 17 Emerald Downs ahead of lesser lights left only one question. Is the BC Derby in the plans of Jordan/Cheema brain trust?
she  nished in a time of 1:11 over a fast track. It was the  rst stakes win for Holy Nova who was purchased
in California last year but suffered
an injury soon after she arrived here and was given the fall and winter off
to recover. Dino Condilenios’ Napa  nished second with Wind Storm third.
A Look at Racing in British Columbia By Jim Reynolds
Last year’s leading jock Mario Gutierrez is back riding for the two big stables with a grin as wide as a fat man at a pie eating contest and Bahadur Cheema’s True Metropolitan looks better and stronger than ever and has already set a new track record.
May 3, The George Royal - 3 y.o. & up, 6f, purse: $50,000
May 19 Allowance - 3 y.o. & up, 6 1⁄2f, purse: $25,000
Fresh new faces in the jock’s room include Stephanie Fedora and Juan Gutierrez (younger brother of Mario) joining the apprentice ranks—which should make for a contest in the jock- eys Derby.
“I think he’s a better horse than he was last year,” said owner Bob Cheema.
Looking like a Derby win-
ner Canada’s 2007 two year old  lly champion and Sovereign winner Dancing Allstar took an early lead with fractions of 22:2, 45:2, 57:4 to  nish six furlongs in a handy 1:10:3 ahead
of the good  lly Rosada and Light Up the Lane. There’s only question left for this  lly. Will she run in the BC Derby or perhaps head to Ontario?
“This horse is hard to beat going short,” said trainer Brian Giesbrecht. “and he’s better this year. They’ll have to run to catch him.”
And, in the “you heard it here  rst” category, we might be witness- ing something special this season as Cheema’s exceptional three year old  lly Dancing Allstar develops into a superstar.
The race set up well for the track record run with former BC Champion Lord Nelson setting an early and quick pace. When the dust settled the big horse was 2 3⁄4 lengths in front of 2005 BC Derby winner Spaghetti Mouse with BR Remark, Lord Nelson and Bad Sneakers trailing.
Dancing Allstar is by Millennium Allstar out of High On Believen, by Honor Grades
From solid BC breeding BR Remark is by Regal Remark out of Mona Corona by Three martinis
The Terry Jordan trained  lly is undefeated in the west with her only career loses coming as a two year old at Woodbine where she won the My Dear Stakes before  nishing second behind Of cer Cherrie in the Ontario Debutante and Bear Holiday in the Colin. She was named 2007 Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s best two year old  lly and since has matured into perhaps the best in the country and certainly the best  lly Western Canada
May 18, The Jim Coleman Province Hcp - 3 y.o. 6f, purse: $50,000
The  rst big race of the year offered a preview of the coming stakes season. Last year’s real champion True Metro- politan showed what he will be ca- pable of this year drawing away from a good  eld to set a new track record of 1:09:4. The big bay has obviously wintered well.
May 17, The Emerald Downs -3 y.o.  llies, 6f, purse: $50,000
Sometimes it’s hard to beat
British Columbia breeding. In a six and one half furlong allowance race 2007 champion sprinter BR Remark defeated a good  eld consisting
of Sir Gallovic (‘08 BC Premiers), Spaghetti Mouse (‘05 BC Derby) and past champions Ookashada and Lord Nelson.
True Metropolitan is by Proud And True out of Forest Dunes by Green Forest
Under a good ride from last year’s leading apprentice Fernando Perez, Peaceful Turzia got to the wire in the  nal few strides to win by a 1⁄2 length over Savo Island and jockey Dave Wil- son. The Troy Taylor trained gelding  nished in a time of 1:11:1. Last year’s Jack Diamond Futurity winner Desert Alf and Ascot Graduation hero Royal Hudson  nished well back.
On a sad note the British Columbia breeding industry lost two of it’s best this spring. Ben Ternes, a leading breeder and stallion manager died
May 10, The Brighouse Belles - 3 y.o.  llies, 6f, purse: $50,000
at an early age in April, and within
a few weeks of his death leading BC stallion Vying Victor, who stood at Ternes’ Langley farm, died. Both the popular Ternes and six time leading sire Vying Victor will be missed by BC horsemen.
The Troy Taylor trained  lly Holy Nova, a Kentucky bred, easily won the  rst restricted race for  llies and mares defeating former stakes win- ners and old rivals Napa and Suva. Under leading jockey Mario Gutierrez
Peaceful Turzia is by Taskmaster out of Turzia by Cox’s Ridge.
Ringers and Trades, by EvenSteven Racetracks have long been renowned as re-
called Lulu Island. That was right around the time
I almost left home for the  rst time, because she wanted me to come out and stay there all winter and help with the horses until the track opened up here for the spring.”
Gord Webb keeps a close eye on his charge while rain clouds loom over the North Shore mountains.
photo by evenSteven
positories for interesting characters. Ask anyone on the backstretch and you’re liable to hear a great story about what brought them to the track for the  rst time. One morning while we waited for the lights to come on Gord Webb told me about his history on the back- stretch. Having recently spied his photo hanging in the kitchen, taken years ago when most of his hair was red instead of grey, I asked Gord when he  rst discovered the race track.
Gord told me about the day he woke up determined to leave home and pursue the racetrack life.
“I was twelve,” he said. “That was sixty years ago. There were a ton of people who used to come to the races back then. It was a live wire sport. I used to sneak in the back through the barns—security wasn’t the same back then as it is now.”
Gordie couldn’t help but laugh at the memory of his poor mother, desperate to save her son from becoming a ‘racetrack degenerate.’
Anyway, that’s why we called ourselves ‘Fly Stable.’ “Jack Short used to call the races back then. He was
When I asked him how the sport had changed over the years, Gord could only shake his head in wonder.
“That morning I had a guy who was going to drive me out there and everything. He was a cop, I played soccer for him. He was gonna come by and take me if I wanted to go. So there he was, waiting out in front of the house. So I went out and said to him: ‘It’s okay, Bill, I’m not gonna go.’ And he was happy too. He said: ‘That’s a good move, Gord.’ And that’s how I ended up learning my trade as a printer.”
the greatest, he really made the races something else. Whenever our horse would win, Jack used to say: ‘Zipper’s Quicker by Golden Buttons and owned by Fly Stables—I guarantee you this horse has got to be owned by a group of tailors!’
“In the old days women weren’t even allowed on
the backstretch. I think there were only one or two women on the whole backstretch in those days, and they were trainers. I got my start helping a lady that must have been in her eighties at that time. She was a trainer. Old Lady MacKenzie...I think her  rst name was Jessie. I even remember a couple of her horses: Sunny York and Assayer. Assayer was a nice horse, I think he even won a couple of stakes as a two year old, but by the time I got there he around six or seven. I’ll always remember she used to get me to take her horses to the paddock. But this one day when Assayer was running I’d already been asked by somebody else. It was a real muddy day, and of all the times he’d run
the bloody horse  nally won and I was so darn mad I didn’t get to take him up there.”
I asked Gord if he continued coming to the track all those years while he plied his trade as a printer?
More recently, one of Gordie’s horses turned out to be the  rst bona  de Canadian ringer in the last  fty years after a routine DNA test revealed his horse— Sassy Linda—wasn’t the horse they thought she was.
“Old Lady Mackenzie lived in a trailer out at Brighouse Racetrack in Richmond, which used to be
“Two or three years. She almost made a hundred grand. Frank Barroby ended up with what he thought was Foxy Belle but she was actually Sassy Linda and I guess he bred her. I liked the horse better as Sassy Linda myself. I don’t think she ever won as Foxy Belle until she got to Portland. The only win she ever had as Foxy Belle.”
“I had my bag all packed and everything one morning, and my mom, she got up, and she begged me, she says: ‘Gord, please, go and get a trade.’
He shook his head: “Not to work. I waited until the seventies or so until I got back into it. We formed a group, ten of us all threw in a hundred dollars and bought a horse for a thousand. Mel Snow was our trainer. Zipper’s Quicker was the name of the horse. Back then the training bills weren’t near what they are now. We all threw in eighty bucks a month and that covered the training plus we had money left over. We had a couple of decent horses, but Zipper was our  rst love. He ended up getting claimed and going to the Prairies. Once in a while they’d even put a blurb in the paper about him. They write something like: ‘Back in the good old days of Zipper’s Quicker—a real good name for a horse sired by Golden Buttons.’
“Sassy Linda was her name for  ve or six years, maybe even longer...then I got a notice that through DNA testing at the sale they got the horses mixed up and my horse was now Foxy Belle. By then Sassy Linda was actually retired and bred.”
I asked Gord how long he’d owned Sassy Linda when they uncovered her mistaken identity.
No wonder he liked her better as Sassy Linda.
The Game JUNE 2008.indd 21
5/27/08 11:30:07 PM

   19   20   21   22   23