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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates. Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

Winbak Breds Keep On Winning

Wednesday, November 2, 2011  By: Ted Black special to Cecil Whig
much of the past three decades has been "It All Comes down to the Breeders Crown," and last Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada, a handful of pacers bred by Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City were on hand for the 12 lucrative Breeders Crown finals.

Two of the top three contenders for the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old colt & gelding pacers were bred by Winbak Farm: Roll With Joe (Ron Pierce), who was made the tepid 9-5 favorite from post six, and Betterthancheddar (Mark MacDonald), the 9-2 third choice from post four. Alsace Hanover (Scott Zeron) was considered the primary threat to upend both horses.

Winbak Breds Keep Winning

When the gate folded in the Breeders Crown final for sophomore colt pacers, Betterthancheddar, Roll With Joe and Big Bad John all left very alertly to secure good early position. Betterthancheddar made the top first then yielded to Roll With Joe, who soon let Big Bad John clear past a fast 26-second opener.

Big Bad John, hero of the coveted Little Brown Jug in September, led the field down the backside and into the far turn and met immediate pressure from Westwardho Hanover, while Roll With Joe sat the pocket and Betterthancheddar anxiously looked for racing room while buried three-deep on the rail. Both Winbak products would soon get room, and both had plenty left when called upon, as Roll With Joe angled out of the pocket turning for home.

Betterthancheddar followed Roll With Joe through a narrow opening to midstretch, then darted inside of him for the final 100 yards and just got up to defeat the favorite in 1:49.2. Betterthancheddar notched his eighth win in 16 starts this year and his second major stakes tally while edging Roll With Joe, the talented Cams Card Shark colt out of the late, great Hall of Fame broodmare Classic Wish, who died last spring giving berth to a foal by Somebeachsomewhere.

"My wife (Joann) named this colt for me," Winbak Farm owner Joe Thomson said. "He's a full-brother to Bettor's Delight, and he's one of the last foals out of Classic Wish. She was a really good mare for us. She won plenty of races on the track, and she was a phenomenal broodmare, which is how she got into the Hall of Fame. We're going to miss her."

Even after last Saturday's Breeders Crown final for sophomore pacing colts, the year-end honors for the sport's "glamour division" may still be up for grabs. Roll With Joe should be considered the leader at this point with victories in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace and $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at Chester Downs and runner-up efforts in the Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown. He owns a solid 5-4-2 slate and division-leading $1.45 million in earnings from 13 starts this year and will look to enhance those figures next Saturday night in the $400,000 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway in New York.

After being unraced at age 2 and virtually nonexistent through the spring stakes, Betterthancheddar is rapidly making up for lost time. The Bettors Delight colt owns eight victories and earnings of nearly $600,000 from 16 starts this year, and he now boasts major stakes tallies in the $340,000 Cane Pace and Breeders Crown and was third in the Little Brown Jug final.

In the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old filly pacers, Handsoffmycookie rallied from well off the pace to finish second behind favored Economy Terror and was only beaten a length in 1:51. A juvenile daughter of Art Major trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner Joann Fucci, Handsoffmycookie has won eight of 10 starts and finished second in both of her defeats and sports earnings of over $470,000. This Winbak product is going postward this Sunday in an elimination race for the $300,000 Three Diamonds final next weekend at Chester Downs.

"She's the one horse you dream about your whole life," Di Domenico said of Handsoffmycookie, who earlier finished second in the $364,000 Sweetheart final at The Meadowlands in New Jersey. "She's really been special. She loves to win. She's got a killer instinct, and she does not want to lose. She's going to give it her all every time. We thought she had a lot of talent from the beginning."

In the $650,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old colt & gelding pacers, Speed Again (Jody Jamieson) rallied from well off the pace to finish fourth while favored Sweet Lou (Dave Palone) simply drew off in convincing fashion to a world record 1:49 performance. Sweet Lou likely secured divisional honors with his 10th victory in 12 starts this year for trainer Ron Burke, and Speed Again did well enough to earn minor spoils.

A 2-year-old Dragon Again gelding out of the Matts Scooter mare Sand Speed, Speed Again now sports a 5-2-1 slate and $360,000 bankroll from 10 starts this year for trainer Jeffrey Gillis. This Winbak Farm product had earlier posted victories in the $150,000 Champlain Stakes and $115,000 Nassagaweya Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in Toronto and took his mark of 1:50.3 while taking the Champlain.

Several races later on the card, another Winbak product, Oh Sweet Baby, finished a solid third as an overlooked 70-1 outsider in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly trotters. This daughter of Angus Hall our of the Pine Chip mare Galahads Damsel now owns a 4-3-4 slate and $293,000 bankroll from 18 starts this year for trainer Benoit Baillargeon and took her lifetime mark of 1:55.2 winning an Ontario Sire Stakes preliminary at Georgian Downs.