Aug 052018

Garden and Gun – August Reading List


National Post –  Arnone – The National Post’s guide to summer reading for when you’re on a plane, at the beach or on the couch

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

Charles Dickens

Bloodhorse – Daugherty – Mr Freeze Cool Customer in West Virginia Derby

TDN – Mr Freeze Cold-Blooded in WV Derby Laugher

Bloodhorse – Crosby – Separationofpowers Battles Back to Top in Test

TDN – Separationofpowers Wins Duel of Rising Stars in Test


I’ve dodged bullets but there’s no scandal in my life.

Hector Elizondo

Phil has a question:

How lucky is Billy Corgan that Kurt came along.

Is Courtney Love Mr. Prospector’s mother.

Is Hole not one of the most appropriate band names of all time.

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

NY Times – Mechling – 7 Musicians Reflect on Nico’s Enduring Influence

Femme Fatale

Femme Fatale

The $50,000 Alberta Derby will be run at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie Alberta Sunday August 5, 2018.

You may ask yourself how did a stakes race in Grande Prairie get a $50,000.00 purse.

You can tell yourself it’s because thoroughbred racing people like Ken Drysdale, Dennis Dale, Al Side and Ed Welsh dig into their own pockets and put up the extra money for the purse.


Feel It Still

Bloodhorse – Wincze Hughes – Raging Bull Up Just in Time in Hall of Fame Stakes

Paulick Report – Raging Bull Gives Brown A Fourth Consecutive Hall Of Fame Stakes

The three toughest fighters I fought were Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Sugar Ray Robinson.
Jake LaMotta

Bulls on Parade

I don’t know how to back up.
Jake LaMotta

Letterman – Top 10 Reasons I Like Being an Actor

Think of me as the weathered sheriff coming back into Dodge ’cause the youngsters are shooting up the church and scaring the horses and not doing right by the women. Frank Miller

I’m Just Getting Warmed Up

Hit Me in the Face

TDN -Pikulski – Second Career for Italian Racehorses? How About as Movie Stars?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I’m not a real movie star. I’ve still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago.
Will Rogers

Ultimate Classic Rock – Giles – Gene Simmons Announces New Book About Rock’s ’27 Club’

Phil has a question:

Does the world really need another book about the 27 Club.

Do stars who committed suicide when they were 27 get an asterisk.

Doesn’t Gene Simmons know more about the 69 club than the 27 club.

My Generation

Amy, 27Fuck Me Pumps

There are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting around and complaining about having a boring life.

Kurt Cobain*

Not Fade Away

Phil has a question:

Who’d you rather be: a rock star in the 27 club or a rock band on their umpteenth top up the pension fund tour claiming they can’t get no satisfaction at 75.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Peter De Vries
Nostalgia is a seductive liar.
George Ball

Phil has a question:

Who’d you rather see: an up and coming artist or a rock band on their umpteenth top up the pension fund tour claiming they can’t get no satisfaction at 75.

Surefire 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year Justify is gone and there is no standout among the older horses. In fact, Las Vegas has established 3-year-old Good Magic as the early favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The good news is this makes races like the Travers and Saturday’s Whitney terrific betting races. Thanks to vulnerable favorites, strong cases can be mounted for several contenders in each of these races.

Horse Race Insider – Jicha – Great betting races trump races with a great horse


Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X

NY Times – Trump Mocks LeBron James’s Intelligence and Calls Don Lemon ‘Dumbest Man’ on TV

ESPN – NBA players defend LeBron James after President Trump tweet

ESPN – LeBron James opens up on his new school, the Lakers and life’s challenges

You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.
Malcolm X

TDN – Thornton – Questionable Tactics, Then Big-Margin Win, Spark Investigation


“Snoozer” Sun Stakes under investigation

“We’re waiting for something (before taking action),” says MHRC steward

Winnipeg Sun Stakes Wednesday
Allowance race three days later

“Maybe by Friday (tomorrow)” the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission will release a ruling on the Winnipeg Sun Stakes that has been under investigation by the commission since the race was run last Wednesday, race steward Grant Buckoski told The Insider.

“We’re waiting for something but I can’t say what it is,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

The commission launched the investigation on the heels of many complaints about the way the race was run. “We have a long list,” Buckoski said.

The four-horse $27,500 race for fillies and mares saw Horse of the Year Escape Clause go to the lead in the one-mile race “cutting the opening quarter in a snoozer :25.3,” said race-caller Kirt Contois. Meanwhile, Tadaa, a horse that normally shows early speed and was ridden by last year’s leading jockey, Rohan Singh, was well behind the field.“Tadaa trailed to the stretch, advanced for third,” was the comment in the Equibase results chart.

Three days later a seemingly rejuvenated Tadaa came back to wire an allowance field. “Tadaa drew out under no urging to win with something left,” is the Equibase chart comment.



Assiniboia Downs – The Insider

The first comment from Phil is congratulations to the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission for noticing that these two races stunk worse than relatives who have overstayed their welcome.

Racing secretaries right across North America need to remember that races need to be written for the betting public to maximize returns from the betting public rather than to please a couple of whiny trainers. Bettors would rather wager on 15 cockroaches running across Portage in mid January than 4 horses in a Stakes race.

Bettors got screwed twice. First in the Stakes race where a brave few took a flyer on a longshot hoping the other speed might hook the favourite. Second in the allowance when the PPs show a horse coming off a very lacklustre performance on three days rest that then runs off like a champion.

In Phil’s humble opinion you have 2 instances of race fixing. The trainer should be gone for life, the jockey for 5 years and the race secretary for a year.

Phil has a question:

Can the new CEO and Chair of Horse Racing Alberta steer the Alberta Titanic away from the iceberg before we end up like Manitoba with $25,000 stakes races and no black type races.

Does anybody in Alberta thoroughbred racing care.

Do we have enough participants in Alberta willing to put in rather than take out.

What does the Undertaker do.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
Bruce Lee
Gold Dust Woman

Brisnet – Cambodia regains winning touch in Yellow Ribbon title defense

California Über Alles

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
Malcolm X

Speaking of participants in Alberta looks like someone is trying to rile up the troops into action.

The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.
Charles de Montesquieu


This little missive was left under the wiper blades of most cars in the owners and trainers parking lot at Northlands Park early in July.

As Mucka Singh commented last week:

To the owners’ parking lot note artist, a good effort, but the apathy in the industry is at an all-time low. Like the Alberta total betting taking a hit of $10 million from $120 million/16 to $110 million/17 with Tenile and her abacus predicting $200 million in her 2015-2017 business plan/MISFIRE???

Phil’s had only 1 entry in his Top 10 list contest so far so maybe Mucka’s right. Mind you it’s tough for the thoroughbred industry in Alberta to be positive when it’s just barely survived the reign of terror of the jiggie loving Shirley McLellan and the water treading Rick LeLacheur.

Phil was expecting a flood of entries from the  Hillbilly Harness Houseleague colony out at Lacombe with this sentiment:

1 – 10 Bring Shirley Back.

Interesting to note that the 2017 handle of $110 million was $82 million thoroughbred and $28 million harness. First task for the new CEO and Chair should be to ensure that the handle and slot revenues for purses are split the same way the handle is generated: okay jiggies get out them fingers and toes and do the arithmetic Phil will help you along divide 82 by 110 to figure out the percentage and you get 74.45% thoroughbred  divide 28 by 110 to figure out the percentage and you get 25.55% Standardbred. That’s how the purse support from the handle and slot revenues should be divided between the thoroughbreds and jiggies after a portion is taken off for the Bee tracks and the other breeds.

Phil’s reprising from before Phil got lambasted by that bus:

To borrow from the people that JFK’s speech writers borrowed from what we need in the Alberta horse racing industry are persons who are less concerned about what the government can do for them and more anxious about what they can do to improve the horse racing industry in Alberta. As Phil has repeated ad infinitum the thoroughbred owners in the province of Alberta dip into their own resources to the tune of about $17,000.00 per horse they race per year. Rather than reward the thoroughbred owners for their support and contribution to the industry Horse Racing Alberta and Northlands Park take turns jabbing the sharp pointy stick in their eyes with one of the cruelest jabs being as HPBA Alberta executive Director Mat Monaco pointed out:

  • A financial policy change instituted by HRA for 2015 resulted in a decrease of the percentage allocation to “A” Thoroughbred Horsemen from 43.5% to 38.5% of the total purse grant. The Standardbred breed as well as Community racing were the recipients of the 5% lost by this Association. Had we received the same percentage allocation as had been received from Day 1 of HRA’s existence, the additional $700,000 would have translated into a 10 – 15% increase in overnite payments.

Phil’s given you No. 10 on the Top Ten list so you only gotta get the synapses firing for 9 more.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr. Seuss

Phil has a question:

Will the new CEO and Chair of Horse Racing Alberta be sinkers, water treaders or swimmers.

What A Wonderful World

Alberta Thoroughbred racing lost 2 long time owners and breeders this past week:

Neville (Ted) Davis and Cec Peacock.

Cecil Newton Peacock

A celebration of life will be held August 9 that the Alliance Community Hall at 2.30 pm lunch to follow Everyone welcome.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the battle river community foundation at or call 780-679-0449

Neville Edward Davis

Ted’s Celebration of Life will be held on August 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm in the Gasoline Alley Mezzanine Room (Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive S.W., Calgary, AB). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ted’s honor to New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society (

Paulick Report – NYRA Cancels Fasig-Tipton Waya, Lure Due To Turf Conditions At Saratoga

Bloodhorse – Waya, Lure Stakes Rescheduled Due to Weather

No Rain

Bloodhorse – Improving Racing the Focus for Jockey Club Round Table

Piece of My Heart

I’m not the kind of guy who has best friends.
Jack Kevorkian

It seems we hardly got to know Justify. His already-immortalized 112 days of racing came and went like the arc of a shooting star.

While six starts leave the racing public wanting, it doesn’t take longevity to show brilliance. Nor is longevity indicative of future success in the breeding shed.


The Ennead knows that Phil would much rather have the short.

Fans of thoroughbred racing can whine as much as they want about the lack of star power and the retirement of stars to the breeding shed, but they need to grow up, put on their big boy long pants and remember that sports of all ilks is Just business. If Karl Max was alive today he’d add a second half to his famous quote: and professional sports the crack cocaine.

The Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan, John Tavares fled the Island for the Leafs, LeBron James fled Cleveland for LA, the Oilers traded Gretzky. Life ain’t fair and neither is the business of sports. Get over it and move on. Phil heard that there’s a great field of 16 roaches running across Hastings tonight at 5:30.

Load Out / Stay

Never attempt to murder a man who is committing suicide.
Woodrow Wilson

Most coaches, certainly the many I’ve known in my life, would have figured out a solution that was discreet and kind. They almost always did. They too had gay players, shy players, anxious players, players who weren’t like the others, players with big problems at home, players with domineering or absent parents.

They helped those kids, accommodated them, made damn sure the others on the team toed the line.

If only Jesse Thompson had had one of those men as a coach he wouldn’t have needed to file a human rights complaint — and now, there wouldn’t be a whole new set of rules and regs tailored to 0.7 per cent of the population with issues that were only ever a problem for 0.7% of the hockey population. Oy.

Phil has a question:
Do any of the idiots that populate these PC boards and commissions understand what Margaret Thatcher was talking about:

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Would inclusion on the team not be better for the kid than exclusion.

Where are we going to find all these unpaid volunteer coaches who have the time to follow on the nitpicking rules.

One of Phil’s high school buddies’ dad was on the Employment Insurance appeal board for a number of years BPC (Before Political Correctness). Unlike the Alberta Racing Appeal Tribunal he understood that his job was to review the decisions and not substitute his own opinion so he denied most of the appeals and like Phil had a question: What would you do if there was no employment insurance. The response was always: get a job. And that’s what he’d tell them to do.
We need more toughness and less bubble wrap.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
John F. Kennedy

Phil has a question:
Why are there some things in life that you just never ever ever tire of.

I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.

Babe Ruth

Phil’s Drink and A Flick

The Wild West

Ballad of Cable Hogue

With lightning all around the upstate New York oval Aug. 4 as a deluge sent racegoers scurrying for cover, Mother Nature’s disregard for human plans and a resulting 41-minute rain delay brought anticipation for the 1 1/8-mile Whitney to another level.

Bloodhorse – Crosby – Diversify Much the Best in Whitney Stakes

TDN – Diversify Wires the Whitney

Speaking of scurrying with the QKB gone from Horse Racing Alberta and the Undertaker not having to scurry down the halls to rat on Phil or Sal what will he do with the extra time.

TDN – Blame Colt ‘Mucho’ the Best in Rising Star Score at Saratoga

If I wait for the genius to come, it just doesn’t arrive.
Ian Fleming

TDN – Pricey Street Sense Colt Debuts a Winner at Del Mar

And a couple of races later the even pricier Tatters to Riches held on to win an Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000.00 for his second lifetime win. The owners may want to apply to reverse his name to Riches to Tatters.

Phil was noticing that since he’s been sorta back the causticity still hasn’t returned.

Stay Tuned

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
George Eliot

Here’s To Us

The Show Must Go On

Phil M Stockmen

  One Response to “Pick Up The Pieces”


    1. HRA donated, Klein statue to be moved to Century Downs, rumoured announcement Monday at the Klein pace, Tenile obviously forgot to take care of business when she was cleaning out her desk.

    2. ASHA rumoured to be hiring Tenile as a lobbyist consultant at 50k year to ensure continued funding with a probable government change next year, can she afford to take a payout???

    3. HBPA doesn’t have the 750k to ensure dates/purses for 2019 season will ATOBA come up with $1 million from the Redcliffe gas well revenue.

    4. NORTHLANDS to gift stall doors to longtime trainers red smith/ mck, rod c, joan p, colonel. floyd, ernie k,unfortunately shipping not included.

    5. Retiring race executive is rumoured to be looking for a assistant for job duties such as light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, wippet walking and must be frugal in spending his $$$,valid 2019 HRA license required to be considered for this foreign position.

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