Page 22 - June 2008 The Game
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22 The Game, June 2008
C Montpellier’sRenewedFocus
slow it down. You have to know your competition.”
You are also forced into make split- second decisions.
“Do I want to be in front and try to steal it on the front end? Do I want to stay back and make a late move? It’s all about choices. It’s very similar to riding.”
So, too, is the adrenaline rush.
“The thrill of winning is the same,” said Montpellier, who has six wins and 18 top-three  nishes as of May 21. “It’s personal satisfaction. I push my- self as hard as I could. When I wasn’t skating, I was on my stationary bike. I had a great winter because of it.”
In total, Montpellier took part
in seven events, winning six gold medals and one silver, in his  rst year of competition.
Most importantly, the experience put Montpellier in a positive state of mind heading into the 2008 thoroughbred season.
“This is the most con dent I’ve been heading into a new racing season. Once again, I found that competitive edge I love. I’m ready to go and ready to do well. It’s just a thrill. I really was considering retirement, but this is what brought me back.”
Once the racing year concludes in early December, Montpellier has every intention of strapping on the skates again, focused on adding more medals to his collection.
“No matter what I do, racing, skating, any sport, I compete to my highest level. There is no money in speed skating for me, but that doesn’t matter. I’m just going to keep working harder. I want to get better. I just want to win.”
Something Montpellier has made a habit of for years.
Information courtesy of Woodbine Entertainment Group Media Dept.
Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper
• Sunday, May 18, 2008
Selene Stakes G3 - $250,000
3 year-old  llies - 1 1/16 miles, All Weather
Winner: Verdana Bold
Owner: Edward Seltzer
Trainer: Daniel Vella
Jockey: Emile Ramsammy
Breeder: Seltzer Irrevocable Trust, Gainsborough Farm LLC & Robert N Clay
2005  lly by Rahy - True Legacy (GB), by A.P. Indy in KY
• Monday, May 19, 2008
Vigil Stakes G3 - $150,000
4 year-olds & up - 7 furlongs, All Weather
Winner: Disfunction
Owner: JMJ’s Stable & Weila Ye Trainer: Julia Carey
Jockey: Emile Ramsammy
Breeder: Bob Cheema
2004 gelding by Vying Victor - Sum- mers Prospect, by Gold Crest in BC
• Saturday, May 24, 2008
Lady Angela Stakes - $125,000
3 year-old  llies - 7 furlongs, All Weather
Winner: Anne’s Purse
Owner: Big C, Little C Stable Trainer: Robert Barnett
Jockey: Eurico Da Silva
Breeder: Big C, Little C Stable
2005  lly by Porto Foricos - Blue Spanish Eyes, by Regal Classic in ON
• Sunday, May 25, 2008
Connaught Cup G3 - $150,000
4 year-old & Up - 1 1/16 miles, Turf Winner: Rahy’s Attorney
Owner: Ellie Boje Farm, Peters, Read, Jean and Jim MacLellan
Trainer: Ian Black
Jockey: Slade Callaghan
Breeder: Ellie-Boje Farm
2004 gelding by Crown Attorney - Rahy’s Hope, by Rahy in ON
onstant Montpellier seriously
Woodbine Stakes Recap • Saturday, May 3, 2008
Queenston Stakes - $150,000
3 year-olds - 7 furlongs, All Weather Winner: Not Bourbon
considered hanging up his
tack last year, but a new hobby and a renewed competitive edge brought the jockey back to the racetrack.
Owner: Charles Fipke
Trainer: Roger Att eld
Jockey: Jono Jones
Breeder: Charles Fipke
2005 colt by Not Impossible(IRE) - Bourbon Belle, by Storm Boot in ON
An injury-plagued 2007 campaign, one in which Montpellier won 39 times and ranked 14th in the Woodbine riding colony, prompted the life-
• Saturday, May 10, 2008
New Providence Stakes - $125,000 3 year-olds & up - 6 furlongs, All Weather
Winner: Main Executive
Owner: Bruno Brothers Farms Trainer: Radlie Loney
Jockey: Eurico Da Silva
Breeder: Bruno Brothers Farms 2002 gelding by Bold Executive - Dream Smartly, by Smarten in ON
• Sunday, May 11, 2008
Hendrie Stakes G3 - $150,000
4 year-olds & up  llies & mares - 6.5 furlongs, All Weather
Winner: My List
Owner: Tucci Stables
Trainer: Nicholas Gonzalez
Jockey: Eurico Da Silva
Breeder: Kent Ochs, Margaux Farm LLC & Don Camiccia
2004  lly by Banker’s Gold - Enduring Charm, by Batonnier in KY
• Saturday, May 17, 2008
Marine Stakes G3 - $150,000
3 year-olds - 1 1/16 miles, All Weather Winner: Matt’s Broken Vow
Owner: Robert Mitchell
Trainer: Josie Carroll
Jockey: Emile Ramsammy
Breeder: Nicholas Lotz
2005 colt by Broken Vow - Marianka, by Ascot Knight in KY
time winner of nearly 1,200 races to question his future in thoroughbred racing.
But after watching a childhood dream become a reality, Montpellier knew he was ready to return to the saddle.
“I always wanted to take up speed skating,” said the native of Dorion, Quebec, who launched his riding career in 1991, after a successful turn as a newspaper photographer. “The reason I started it last year was because I couldn’t play hockey. I had a concus- sion, so when I started feeling better and got clearance from the doctors, I
decided to try it out.”
It didn’t take Montpellier long to develop a passion for the sport.
“I bought the skates and I fell in love with it right away,” said the Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top apprentice in 1993, a year in which he won 142 races. “But it was tough to adapt to the skates and the skating. I was so embarrassed when I  rst started.
“It’s totally different from ice skates. These skates have long,  at blades. When you have been playing hockey for almost 40 years, it’s tough to make that switch. It’s like you are learning to skate all over again.”
After a fair share of crash landings and extensive hours of training on and off the ice, Montpellier  nally began to hit his best stride.
Hunterview Farm Foals of 2008
Colt by Niigon
- Curiosity,
by Tale of the Cat born April 7
at Hunterview Farm for owners
Maria and Joe Stritzl.
Colt by Survivalist - Fantasy Ridge,
by Salt Lake
born April 15
at Hunterview Farm for owner
Mr. Bob Harvey.
Watch for more Foal Photos and Foal Reports in the next issue of The Game
And in doing so, it took him back in time to his childhood days.
“To really improve and skate well, it’s a very technical sport,” said the 47-year-old, who won the 2008 gold medal (age 40-49) at the North American speed skating championships. “Practice after practice, I improved. I felt like a kid again. It was like when I was back in Quebec going to the rink to play hockey every day.”
It also reminded him of his full-time job, one he has been part of for nearly 20 years.
Competitive as they come, Montpellier discovered there are more than a few connections between that of jockey and speed skater.
“The strategy is the same as racing,” offered Montpellier. “You have to jockey for position, you have to get a good start and a favorable spot. You need to pace yourself, and at times you need to get to the lead and
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