Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fio Rito- "The Pride of Lake Country"

Part of the fun of being involved in horse racing was racing at Ft. Erie racetrack for the summer meet. Which use to take place beginning in early July an ending on Labor Day. The meet use to coincide with Saratoga in New York state. While the elite of horse racing would be enjoying themselves at the "SPA". Toronto horseman and horse racing fans would be enjoying our lives in Ft. Erie. Located in the Niagara area and only 14 miles from famed Niagara Falls. We also were located around the same distance to the historic amusement park located in Crystal Beach. Also my brother John and I. Along with some other trackies would make a yearly trip to enjoy a day of racing at Finger Lakes racetrack located near Rochester New York.

Finger Lakes Racetrack's location is almost perfect. Located very close to the shores of Lake Canandaigua. Right in the heart of Finger Lakes Country. This simple and pure horse racing facility has hosted Thoroughbred horse racing since 1962. The track is know for being a "B" racetrack. Home to cheap claiming horses. Or to second class New York Breds. That can't cut it racing in the tough New York City Circuit.

That all changed when another "Big Grey" would arrive racing at Finger Lakes in 1977. Fio Rito would forever put Finger Lakes Racetrack on the map in horse racing history and would forever become the "Pride of Lake Country". Fio Rito like most very talented Thoroughbreds was a combination of speed and stamina. Fio Rito use to like to dazzle his opponents with his pure speed. Then dare his opponents to try and to beat him.

This worked 28 times in his 50 race career. Fio Rito became the star of Finger Lakes. The highlight of his brilliant racing career came when owner Ray Lecesse and trainer Micahel S. Ferraro shipped the "Pride of Lake Country" to Saratoga to compete in the 1981 Whitney Handicap. The New York City horsemen, horse racing fans, and racing experts. Gave Fio Rito and his regular jockey Leslie Hulet very little chance of winning or doing well racing at Saratoga. The popular opinion was that Fio Rito and Leslie Hulet were stars at Finger Lakes. But did not belong racing in the big time.

I was certainly a fan of Fio Rito going into the 1981 Whitney. I always enjoyed cheering for the underdog. As a die hard horse racing fan, I was delighted with the results. I remember watching this race on close circuit T.V. in the betting room. Located in the barn area of Ft. Erie Racetrack. There was concern prior to the start of the Whitney. When an anxious Fio Rito broke through the gate, prior to the start. Only the excellent work of the assistant starter. Who loaded Fio Rito into the starting gate. Also the great work of jockey Les Hulet. Prevented a negative outcome for "The Pride of Lake Country". The Big Grey was reloaded into the starting gate. The race began. With speed and confidence. Fio Rito and Les Hulet took command of the race from the outset. Dominated the pace in the run down the backstretch. Then held off some determined challenges in the run to the finish line to win the the Whitney by 1/2 length. Giving Lake Country a huge victory! Proving that Fio Rito and Leslie Hulet did belong competing the major leagues!

1975 Gr. C. by Dreaming Native - Seagret
28 Wins in 50 Starts, from ages 2 to 6
Career Earnings: $584,142

1981 - New Track Record at Finger Lakes - 6f in 1:09 4/5
1981- New Track Record at Finger Lakes - 1 mile, 70 yards in 1:40 1/5

Finger Lakes Horse of the Year
1979, 1980, 1981

New York State Horse of the Year
1980, 1981

The top photo is from a souvenir photo I obtained from visiting Finger Lakes Racetrack. The bottom picture was take by Al Stiff of me. Visiting Fito Rito grave. Located in the infield of Finger Lakes during a visit during May 2008.
1981 Whitney Stakes- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SDQqwpWqsk

Spectacular Bid- "The Big Gray"

The year 1979 would also add another fantastic horse in Thoroughbred Racing history. As "The Big Gray" Spectacular Bid would come from Maryland. To leave an everlasting memory in the hearts of racing fans. Strong courageous and with electrifying moves to win races with ease. His name Spectacular Bid would be so appropriate for him!

Speculator Bid would also give young jockey Ronnie Franklin. The greatest races of his career. In The Big Grey's two campaign in 1978. The pair would combine for 7 wins from 9 races. They would win the; The Champagne, The Young America, and The Laurel Futurity. In winning the Laurel Futurity. The Bid and Ronnie Franklin would set a new track record covering the 1 1/16 distance in a speedy 1:41 3/5 seconds. A very rare achievement for a two year old to accomplish.

In Spectacular Bid's 3 year old racing campaign (1979). The big grey would prepare beautifully for the triple crown winning the Hutchinson Stakes and the Florida Derby. Then Spectacular under the riding of Ronnie Franklin would romp to victory in The Kentucky Derby and come back to win the Preakness in his home state of Maryland. Only to finish a disappointing 3rd in the Belmont. Ending his hope of winning the triple crown.

However Spectator Bid would come back as a 4 year old. The Bid would dominate his competition as an older horse. Winning the; Strub Series, San Fernando Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, Mervyn Leroy Handicap, California Stakes, Washington Park Handicap, Amony L. Haskell Handicap, and the Woodward. Spectacular Bid would end his career with 26 wins from a 30 race career. Delighting horse racing fans that had the fun of watching him run and win races.

Spectacular Bid-

Sire Bold Bidder
Grandsire Bold Ruler
Dam Spectacular
Damsire Promised Land
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1976
Country United States
Color Gray
Breeder Madelyn Jason
Mrs. William Gilmore
Owner Hawksworth Farm
Racing colors: Blue, black cross sashes, blue bars on black sleeves, black cap.
Trainer Bud Delp
Record 30: 26-2-1
Earnings $2,781,608


The Kentucky Derby 1979- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNufEXG7fYs
The Preakness 1979- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcs8TPykpFg
The 1980 Strub Stakes 1980. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDbOyu5tTF4
The 1980 Woodward (walk over) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9JYygqNfgE

Monday, September 16, 2013

Affirmed & The Triple Crown

One of the great horses racing events of racing history was the great Affirmed who became the 11th Thoroughbred to capture the U.S. Triple Crown in 1978. Who knows if horse racing will ever have another. Also the great racehorse Alydar who was the nemesis for Affirmed in all three of his Triple Crown victories. Also creating some of the greatest finish you will ever see in horse racing history.

Affirmed

Sire Exclusive Native
Grandsire Raise a Native
Dam Won't Tell You
Damsire Crafty Admiral
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1975
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Harbor View Farm
Owner Harbor View Farm. Colors: Flamingo, white bars on black sleeves, black cap
Trainer Laz Barrera
Record 29: 22-5-1
Earnings $2,887,999

Alydar

Sire Raise a Native
Dam Sweet Tooth
Damsire On-and-On
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1975
Country USA
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Calumet Farm
Owner Calumet Farm
Trainer John M. Veitch
Record 26:14-9-1
Earnings $957,195


videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65V3xFLPNLA (1978 Kentucky Derby)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5Zytq6GWWM (1978 Preakness)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apBIGFWMFr0

The game and talented Alydar finally defeated Affirmed (through disqualification)in the 1978 Travers stakes run at Saratoga. Jockey Laffit Pincay who was filling in for the injured Steve Cauthen riding Affirmed. Cut off Alydar as he was challenging Affirmed from the inside in the race approaching the 1/4 pole. Alydar never gave up. Rallied to finish 2nd in the race. But was awarded victory after the stewards sttuided the films of the race.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6qUCO_bLns (1978 Travers)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Seattle Slew- "Baby Huey"

Horse racing fans of the 1970's. Got to enjoy the career of "Seattle Slew". One of the all time greatest Thoroughbreds in racing history.

Pure speed, power and endurance. Seattle Slew had it all. This great horse racing champion came from very humble beginning. Also his barn nick-name was "Baby Huey". Seattle Slew's owners were Karen and Mickey Taylor. Who purchased Seattle Slew at the Keeneland Fall Sale for on $17,000. The Taylor's really hit the jackpot when they purchased him.
The Taylor's would hire friend and former Steeplechase jockey Billy Turner, to train Seattle Slew. Which was a great decision. As Billy turner showed a lot of patience with "The Slew". Usually owners and trainers that don't push there young racehorses. Are greatly rewarded later in there careers. Seattle Slew was undefeated in his 3 races as a two year old. His last race at two would be the "Champagne Stakes". Where "Baby Huey" trounced his competitors. Winning the race by 9 3/4 lengths. By doing so was voted "2 Year Old Champion" in the U.S. in 1976. Also making Seattle Slew the heavy favorite for the Kentucky Derby in 1977.

Seattle Slew made his first race as a 3 year old. On March 9, 1977 at Hialeah Racetrack located in Florida. My mom and dad were both at the races on that day. They were wintering our horses in Florida. Seattle Slew set all the fractions and pulled away to win his 1977 debut by 9 lengths. My parents were so impressed with Seattle Slew's performance. They were very confidant that they had just witnessed one of horse racing greatest, of all time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpOX-IrL5do&list=PL4D44C4A7E722ABD4 (video of first 3 year old race)

Then Seattle Slew would go on to win the Flamingo Stakes and the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct. Before he swept the Triple Crown in impressive style. Becoming only the 10th racehorse to capture the triple crown. The first to accomplish this amazing feat with an undefeated record.

Adversity would strike this great champion as he was shipped to California to compete in the Swaps Stakes. A move not agree to by his trainer Billy Turner. Seattle Slew would suffer his first defeat, and come out of this race in poor condition. Ending his 3 year old campaign. Seattle Slew would still be voted Champion 3 Year Old and Horse of the Year honors.

Seattle Slew would come back in his 4 year old racing year. To run some fantastic races. To also prove that his was one of the best Thoroughbreds of all time. Both his regular trainer and jockey would be replaced. Doug Peterson would take over as his trainer. Regular rider Jean Cruguet would be replaced after a loss in the Paterson Handicap. A race run at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Angel Cordero would take over as his regular jockey.

Big wins in the Woodward, Stuyvesant Handicap, and Marlboro Cup. Where Seattle Slew would defeat 1978 Triple Crown Champion Affirmed. Would earn him Champion Older horse in the U.S. honors. A courageous loss by a head to Exceller in 1978 Jockey Cup Gold Cup. There was tremendous speed in the race. Which set it up perfectly for the fast closing Exceller. However Seattle Slew proved what a fantastic racehorse he was. My mounting an unbelievable comeback. To narrowly loose this race. Proving again what a great horse he was!

Seattle Slew would retire with a record of;
Record 17:14-2-0
Earnings $1,208,726.

Sire Bold Reasoning
Grandsire Boldnesian
Dam My Charmer
Damsire Poker

This great horse would also enjoy a successful career as a stallion.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwOImSrzmCg (Seattle Slew documentary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-QYkEjVBM (1977 Kentuckey Derby)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1j8UvEQozg (1977 Preakness)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8783PipiJbo (1977 Belmont)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFwDvrEWHnQ (1978 Malbororo Cup)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZFr6N2lNY4 (1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Forego!

A true champion and one of the greatest stars of Thoroughbred Horse Racing was Forego! The 1960's enjoyed the great Kelso. The racing fans of the 1970's was able to enjoy the wonderful career of this mammoth size horse. Forego's desire to win was as large as his stature, and his heart!

There are so many words that can describe this brilliant equine athlete. Which are; strong, determine, versatile, and dedicated! Foergo for lots of reasons proved to be an all time fan favorite. His all-time record of 57 starts and 34 career wins. Which includes 24 stakes race victories.

Here are Forego's major wins in his illustrious career;
Roamer Handicap (1973)
Discovery Handicap (1973)
Woodward Stakes (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977)
Brooklyn Handicap (1974, 1975, 1976)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1974)
Gulfstream Park Handicap (1974)
Widener Handicap (1974 & 1975)
Carter Handicap (1974, 1975)
Suburban Handicap (1975)
Metropolitan Handicap (1976 & 1977)
Marlboro Cup (1976)
Nassau County Handicap (1976, 1977)

Awards;
American Champion Sprint Horse (1974)
American Champion Older Male Horse
(1974, 1975, 1976, 1977)
American Horse of the Year
(1974, 1975, 1976)

Honors;
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1979)
#8 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Forego Stakes at Turfway Park
Forego Handicap at Saratoga Race Course

One of his greatest victories was the 1976 Marlboro Stakes Race run at Belmont. Forego looked hopefully beaten. When the field turned into the homestretch. To delight of his many fans. Your truly included. Forego mounted a wonderful comeback, and got up to beat Honest Pleasure in the final few strides to win the Marlboro in dramatic fashion.

We horse racing were truly lucky to enjoy the career of Forego!!!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMJjiWXCM3s 1979 Marlboro Cup
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suFm-CufWGw 1974 Jockey Gold Cup
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69mBgbkuIfk 1974 Carter





My photo taken of Forego in retirement. Kentucky Horse Park 1989.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ruffian

One of the greatest female Thoroughbred Racehorses of all time was Ruffian. Who came onto the horse-racing scene in 1974. A large filly of; stature, speed and determination. Ruffian won all of her brilliant 10 race career. Which tragically came to an abrupt end. In a match race with 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. The final race of Ruffian took place on July 6th, 1975 at Belmont Park.
The highlights of Ruffian incredible career included; Outstanding 2 year old filly in North America is 1974, Champion 3 year old filly in 1975, Winning the triple crown for fillies in 1975, average winning margin was 8 1/3 lengths, Ruffian set a new stakes record in each of the 8 stakes races she won, Ruffian was on the lead at every call in her ten race winning career.

Sadly Ruffian injured herself in the Match Race with Foolish Pleasure. The injured occurred just past the half mile pole in the race. Ruffian was 1/2 length in front in the race, as the fatal injury occurred. Jockey Jacinto Vasquez could not pull up Ruffian to try and minimize the injury. An attempt was made to save Ruffian life. However it failed, as the attending veterinarians were forced to euthanize her. It was a huge loss for horse-racing. The tragic end to one of the greatest competitors in horse racing history. Ruffian was buried in the infield of Belmont Park. Her head pointing towards the finish line. Ruffian will never be forgotten!


Videos of Ruffian triple tiara wins in 1975.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLRt23bqc3A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2qfLJYcq5s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Ll5R3Ihgg







Documentary on Ruffian; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_OGZc3FaoU

Monday, July 1, 2013

Red Rum- Master of Aintree




























One of the greatest Thoroughbred Racehorses of all time. Is the gallant Red Rum. The writers in Hollywood. Could not of made the Cinderella story of Red Rum. Even close to being as dramatic. As it actually happened in real life.

Red Rum was a Irish Bred who was foaled May 3 1965. Red Rum's father was Quorum. Who was at his best running the mile distance. Red Rum mother was "Mared". Who was a failure as a racehorse. Mared first foal was Red Rum. The rest of her offspring. Did not fair very well on the racetrack.

Red Rum career did not get off to a very dramatic start as he won his first race a the 5 furlong distance. Barely winning facing mediocre company by a desperate nose. When Red Rum got older, and continued to struggle with the shorter speed based races. Red Rum's handlers made the decision to convert him to Steeplechase racing. In these races. Speed is not required. The ability to jump and to have the heart and stamina. To complete at the marathon distances are the necessary skills. Red Rum did show early promise. Competing in his new equine sport. However after suffering a serious hoof injury. His life and racing career now looked in jeopardy.

Enter Ginger McCain. Struggling horse trainer from Southport England. Who was supplementing his income. By selling used cars, and driving a taxi. To make financial ends meet. Enter Mr. Noel Le Mare. The 84 year old horse owner. Who had accomplished everything he ever sought after in his life. Except owning the winner of a Grand National Steeplechase. The toughest horse-race to win. In the world of horse racing.

Ginger McCain and Noel Le Mare met. As Noel Le Mare would be a regular passenger in Ginger McCain's cab. They would talk horse racing. Soon a friendship would develop between both men. To the point. That Mr. Le Mare now wanted Ginger McCain to train a horse for him. By this time Red Rum had recovered from his serious hoof injury. However his connections had now decided to give up on him. And put Red Rum into a auction sale. Fate works in strange ways. As Ginger McCain showed up at the sale. With money to buy a steeplechase prospect for Mr. Noel Le Mare in 1972. Ginger McCain did select and purchased Red Rum for Mr. Le Mare.

Because Ginger McCain was a struggling trainer. He galloped and trained all his racehorses on the beach in Southport. This was perfect news for Red Rum. Who was still trying to resume his racing career after suffering the serious hoof injury. In fact when Ginger McCain started to train Red Rum. He did have some concern about Red Rum soundness. After returning from a gallop showing signs of lameness. Ginger McCain had his exercise rider stroll Red Rum into the sea. The cold salt water had now cured anymore problems with the injured hoof. It was now time for Red Rum career to take flight. Now it was time for magic!!!

The Grand National Steeplechase. Run at "Aintree" Racecourse. Located in Liverpool, England. Is one of the toughest horse races ever devised. The distance is 4 1/2 miles. The horses are also required to also complete 30 jumps. That are part of this true test of endurance and courage. The horses that compete in the Grand National. Are required to complete two circuits of Aintree. Do decide who the winner will be.

During the Spring 1973 Steeplechase season in England. Red Rum had started to show signs of becoming a star. To the point where he was now one of the major contenders to compete in the 1973 Grand National. This race in 1973. Was truly the beginning one of the best stories in the history of professional athletics. During the race. Red Rum moved up after the first circuit and started to hound the front runner "Chrisp". Who was a champion steeplechaser form Australia. Who had opened a commanding lead. To the point where Chrisp had widened to a 15 length lead. Going into the final quarter mile in the race. It looked like Red Rum and his jockey Brian Fletcher were going to have to settle for second. However one of the greatest comebacks in sports history was about to take place. The final 1/16 of the race. Chrisp started to tire badly. Red Rum had keep up his pace. In the final few yards. Red Rum had won the Grand National in dramatic style, beating Chrisp by a head. The town of Southport had plenty to cheer about. There hometown based racehorse. Had just won the Grand National. Mr. Noel Le Mare's unfulfilled dream. Had finally come true!!!

However this fantastic story was just the beginning. For Red Rum was entered back in 1974 Grand National. As the favorite to win the race. Red Rum ran a flawless race. Winning the Grand National two years in a row. A very rare event. As it is so tough for a brave racehorse to finish the course at Aintree in the Grand National. Let alone win two in a row.

No horse had ever won the Grand National Steeplechase 3 times. Could Red Rum be the first to complete the hat trick. To accomplish the impossible. Red Rum would finish second in the Grand National in 1975 and 1976. In very determined and game efforts.

Red Rum the "Master of Aintree" would be back in 1977 for one final try to win his 3rd National. At this point in my life. I was a hard core horse racing fan. I was aware of Red Rum. However we received very little T.V. coverage of international racing in those days. However I was lucky to catch the 1977 Grand National Steeplechase. That was shown on "Wide World of Sports". I was treated to a special moment in horse racing and sports history. As Red Rum who was now completing at age 12. Took control of the 1977 Grand National. Pulling away to win by a good margin. Under the handling of jockey Tommy Stack. Who had replaced Brian Fletcher for the race. Aintree was packed with horse racing fans for what would be Red Rum's final Grand National. When Red Rum made the lead with two jumps to go in the race. The racing fans had become delirious with emotion. Red Rum run through the home stretch was electric! As he had won the Grand National 3 times! There was not a dry eye of anyone. Who was part of this great event. Red Rum was a rare equine athlete. Rummy was one of a kind!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvax6vFJdF0


Maxwell G- Iron Max!

Out of Chicago came another horse racing legend. A horse that was never going to compete or win a stakes race. But none the less horse racing fans loved and respected him very much!

His name was Maxwell G. He came from Washington State. Where he was foaled in 1962. Maxwell G never made the races until he was a 4 year old. When he finally broke his maiden in 1965. Through the late 1960's Maxwell G would turn into a very consistent claiming horse. Winning six races as a 6 year old from 24 starts. Then 5 winning races in 1969 from 29 starts. Durability and a late closing charge would become his trademark.

Then on September 22, 1970. Trainer Richard Hazelton claimed Maxwell G for $6,250. A great horse racing partnership had been formed. Creating a winning partnership. That would delight horsing fans for years to come. Richard Hazelton who was from Arizona. Had already established himself as a top Thoroughbred conditioner. A hoof problem that had been plaguing Maxwell G. Had to be corrected and constantly maintained for Max's racing career to continue to be successful. Trainer Richard Hazelton was up to the task. As Richard proved to be a highly prolific trainer. Who was known for a hands on approach to the horses under his care. Who also excelled at working with older racehorses. The Maxwell G. Richard Hazelton combination would combine for 31 wins from age 9 up to age 16.

Maxwell G won a race at Turf Paradise in Arizona at age 16. An age when most racehorses are retired or there lives have already ended.

Truly racing fans of the 1960's and 1970's. Were so lucky to have a colorful and long lasting racehorse in Maxwell G. Which truly made the "Sport of Kings" a very popular spectator sport in North America. Maxwell G. was also rewarded with having a book written in his honor, by L.M. Schorsch. Maxwell G. retired from racing in 1977. Having raced 233 times. Which included 47 wins, 52 seconds, and 39 thirds. For career earning of $181,420.

If is anybody who reads this post. That owns any video of Maxwell G winning one of his 47 races. Please post the video on YouTube. So all horse racing fans can enjoy the great memories!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Dad Sheldon Wolfe


With sadness I have to announce the passing of my father Sheldon Wolfe. Who succumb to the effects of pneumonia. On Wednesday May 29. My dad was 91 years of age.

My dad has fought a valiant battle to stay alive. After suffering a severe stroke. In early December 2002.

My brother and I are very fortunate to have been brought into this world. Also constantly supported by. Two fine and decent people (our parents). Who have given my brother and I. The great opportunity to enjoy our lives.

What an exciting a great life it has been. Which includes; Growing up on a beautiful farm in Maple, Ontario in the 1960's. Being involved in the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry. That provided us with genuine happy moments. That most people can only dream about every having and enjoying in there lives. Living in a conformable home for all my years. Also personally for me. The chance to travel and enjoy. Some of the exotic and beautiful places located on our planet "Earth".

One of my dad's greatest qualities was his humor. My father would always take delight in making people laugh. His presentation to deliver a joke or one liner was high quality. I always enjoyed my dad's humor. I often refereed to my father. "As the Henny Youngman of the racetrack". It will be a lasting memory for me. Also for all of the people who got to know Sheldon Wolfe.

I will finish this post. With a short funny story. That my dad use to enjoy to tell. "The Horse Trainer's Test".
"They would begin the test by putting 12 sanitized marbles in your mouth. Then they would start asking you various questions. When a question was answered correctly. You were allowed to split out one of the marbles. When you lost all of your marbles! Then were giving your horse trainer's licence."

My dad use to enjoy to quote the great comic Milton Berle "Always leave them laughing".

Thanks for a great life dad. You gave us all a very fun ride!

My brother John recently discovered a hat drawing that my dad drew on Friday June 20th 1997. My enjoying dinner at a Swiss Chalet location in Brampton. Drawing hats was a favorite hobby of his!






Monday, January 28, 2013

Charlotte Wolfe

My mom's racing commission license from New Hampshire 1973.

Sadly my wonderful mother Charlotte Wolfe. Passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack on the early evening of January 11. A huge loss to the Wolfe Family as we lost our family leader. Like any amazing woman. My mom was the heart and soul of our family. My mother's heath had been in decline after she suffered a broken hip. Due to a slip and fall accident she suffered 8 years ago.

Like always my mother handled adversity with bravery and class. Her determination to survive her serious injury was unrelenting. You see my mom survived two failed operations to try and repair her broken hip. Then she found herself in 2005 at Sunnybrook Hospital. Awaiting open heart surgery. To repair a blockage in her heart. So a another attempt could be made to repair a failed hip replacement operation.

I visibly remember going to see my mother after my mom survived the heart operation. My mother looked great and was now ready for her hip to finally be repaired. However there was a new challenge to overcome as Sunnybrooke Hospital wanted to send my mother back to the Brampton Hospital. To allow the Brampton Surgeon to revive her failed hip replacement.

My mother wanted no part of going back to be treated by the Brampton Hospital again. How could you blame her. Two failed operations at Brampton Hospital. Plus my mom was quickly discharged from the Brampton Hospital with a irregular heartbeat, after the hip replacement operation had failed! There was no way she was going back to Brampton for any further medical treatment.

Great family friend Saul M. and yours truly appealed to the upper management of Sunnybroook. To not send my mother back to Brampton Hospital for further medical treatment on her bad hip. But instead to allow the Sunnybrook Hospital hip and pelvic specialist Dr. Hans Kreader. To treat and revised my mom's failed hip replacement. A very fond memory. When a very down to earth and friendly Dr. Kreader walked into my mom's room. And said directly to her. "Don't worry Mrs. Wolfe. I will fix up your hip for you. And you will be able to walk again". Tears of joy! Just rolled down the face of my mom and I. As Dr. Kreader left her room. Dr. Kreader is a man of his word. As Dr. Kreader successfully repaired my mother's hip. So she was able to walk and continued to live her life. Until it sadly ended on January 11, 2013. I will always have fond memories for the great people who fought for my mother. So she could survive and we got to enjoy her for the last 8 years.

My mother got to enjoy a special life. And thankfully I got to be a part of it. A hard working, kind and loving person her whole life. I was very lucky and proud to be her son. My mother who loved to work, to make good things happen. Who loved to be a mother, and was always a source of inspiration. As she fit the part of a real good role model as a fine person.

My mom was originally a city girl. Who had no experience and actually had a fear of animals. When she married my father Sheldon Wolfe in 1958. My dad's plan was to take a shot to be a Thoroughbred Horse Trainer. My mom was excited about her new life with her husband Sheldon and her two sons, John and Donny. But was she up to the task of handling and looking after horses. Well my mom quickly excelled at her new life. As she just loved all of the animals that would become a part of our lives. All the cats, dogs and the horses. My mom quickly became a accomplished horse woman. My mom looked after and ran "Woodglen Farm" for the 8 years we enjoyed living in the country in Maple. My mother also became barn manager for 24 of my dad's 30 year training career. My mom always made sure we did our best to look after the horses. My mom just loved being involved in the racing business. We never got rich. But we got to live a special life. Also created some rich memories to always enjoy!

My mom loved and supported her family. All the way to end of her life. My mother was always unselfish. Who always put the well being of her husband and her two sons. Ahead of her own. I as a loving son. Never stopped fighting for her. My mom never had to leave her home and move into a nursing facility. She did walk and make it up to her bedroom. Where she sadly passed away. But I am such a lucky guy to have enjoyed the life. Of such of a great and rare lady to be my mom!




The top picture is my mother in 1963. With our first broodmare "Esteemed". You can easily see how much she loved being a horsewoman!

The bottom pictures are; Truth Of It All winning the prep for the "Ohio Derby" in 1993. Then the great thrill of winning our first ever race at historic "Churchill Downs" with our fine race mare "Dance For Lucy" winning the first division of the "Cardinal" stakes race.