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Woodbine: Double McTwist, stakes-winning Biamonte trainee, euthanized
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Double McTwist, a very promising 2-year-old gelding trained by Ralph Biamonte, was euthanized after breaking down on the main track here Thursday morning.
“He’d just worked a nice easy half, getting ready for the Frost King,” said Biamonte, who had given jockey Alex Solis a leg up for the drill. “When he was galloping out, Alex heard something snap in behind. He fractured a pastern in his left hind.”
Double McTwist, who was euthanized on the racetrack, won his only two starts in impressive fashion, taking a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by seven lengths and the restricted six-furlong Bull Page Stakes by 8 1/2 lengths.
The gelding, who was bred by Biamonte’s wife, Mary, and raced for their son Bret, had been sold following the Bull Page to a partnership of Paul Braverman, Terrence Murray, and the Debmar Stable of Glenn Harvey and Steve Duffield.
Double McTwist had earned $105,000 and was looming as the horse to beat in the $125,000 Frost King, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds here Nov. 7.
“He was going to stay with me until the end of the year, and then go down to [trainer] Kiaran McLaughlin,” said Biamonte. “He’d never had anything wrong with him. He vetted perfectly, for the sale. He was a quiet horse.”
The loss of Double McTwist was the second major blow for the Biamonte barn this fall.
Menlo Castle, a stakes winner of $330,421 for owner Conor Healy, was euthanized after breaking down during a workout over the main track on Sept. 23.
Working for the Maple Leaf
Smart Sting, Smart Penny, and Stars to Shine all breezed on the main track here Friday morning in preparation for this coming Saturday’s Maple Leaf Stakes.
The Maple Leaf, at 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares, offers a purse of $175,000.
Trainer Roger Attfield sent out Smart Sting and Smart Penny, a pair of Kentucky-homebred 4-year-olds sired by Smart Strike and owned by Frank Stronach, to work six furlongs in company in 1:15.40.
Eurico Rosa da Silva was aboard Smart Sting and Jesse Campbell rode Smart Penny.
“They’re both training very well, and the mile and a quarter should suit them both,” said Attfield.
Smart Sting has run well on the turf, finishing third last year in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Ontario Colleen here at Woodbine.
In her lone appearance on Polytrack, here in last fall’s Grade 3 Selene Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, Smart Sting scored by 3 1/2 lengths, with multiple stakes winners Anne’s Beauty and Inglorious the second- and third-place finishers. Inglorious had captured the Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate.
Smart Penny is coming off a third-place finish here in the Flaming Page, a 1 1/2-mile overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares which was won by Maple Leaf nominee Clarinet.
“She’s proved that she likes the Polytrack,” said Attfield, who sent out Smart Penny to finish a close third in the 1 1/8-mile Trillium and a lapped-on fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone on the main track at this meeting.
Stars to Shine, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old trained by Mark Frostad, was clocked in 1:02.60 for five furlongs with her regular rider, Alex Solis, in the irons.
Winner of both the Belle Mahone and Ontario Matron, Stars to Shine would be returning to Polytrack after facing some of the world’s top turf females in Arlington’s Grade 1 Beverly D. and Woodbine’s Grade 2 Canadian and Grade 1 E.P. Taylor.
New rider making debut
Sheena Ryan, an apprentice jockey who began her career in Edmonton this fall, will be making her Woodbine debut in Sunday’s 10th race.
Ryan, who was born in Saskatchewan but raised in Ontario, has the mount on Biddabudda for trainer Pat Parente, who is the brother of her agent, Don Parente.
“I always wanted to be a jockey,” said the 28-year-old Ryan, who took her first step toward that goal by enrolling in the exercise rider and jockey training program at Alberta’s Olds College.
Ryan, who began galloping horses for Reade Baker here in 2010, had just returned from a working winter in Florida when she was seriously injured in an accident at the barn.
“I broke my pelvis,” said Ryan. “I hadn’t even been back up here two weeks. I was out for seven months.”
After returning to the saddle in Florida this past winter, Ryan headed northwest to Alberta to begin her career.
“The first year I was out there I was working for [trainer] Ron Grieves,” said Ryan. “I wanted to start riding there to get some experience.”
Ryan’s first ride came in a $2,000 claiming race at Grand Prairie on July 20.
Two months later, in her debut at Northlands Park, Ryan won aboard the $7,000 maiden claimer Circle at Time. She closed out that meeting at Alberta’s major racetrack with a record of 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third from 23 mounts and then decided to come east.
“I wanted to give Woodbine a shot,” said Ryan, who had known Don Parente through her days with Baker and contacted the agent about taking her book.
Both Ryan and Parente agree that she will hang up her tack for the year if she wins a race here, in order to make full use of her apprentice allowance when she returns next season.
Ryan’s apprentice allowance would drop from 10 pounds to five after her fifth win, and she would retain that five-pound allowance for one year with the prospect of an extension if she took another winter off.
Horse suspended for positive
Dracup, trained by Lisa Lewis, has been suspended for 90 days, dating from Oct. 17, 2012 through Jan. 14, 2013, after testing positive the the Class 3 medication acepromazine.
A 4-year-old filly owned by William Schettine and trained by Lisa Lewis, Dracup had finished seventh as the favorite making his local debut here Oct. 7 and his urine sample tested positive for the banned substance.
Lewis has requested a split sample and will be allowed to continue to train until such time as a hearing takes place.
◗ Friday’s Breeders’ Cup races will air in Canada on TSN2 from 4 9 p.m. Saturday’s telecast, on the same station, runs from 3:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.
First post for Woodbine’s first race on Breeders’ Cup Day will be 1 p.m.
That sucks to hear a 2y/o getting euthanized