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WOODBINE OAKS DRAW CEREMONY
June 2, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to WEG Stadium Bar. Two minutes away from the beginning of the proceedings here this afternoon. The drawing for the post positions of the Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser. Nice to see so many friendly faces here today. If you'd like to take a seat, we'll get underway in a few minutes. We're happy to have Micky Ward here this afternoon, and Mr. Dan Loiselle will be here in a few minutes. Just a couple minutes away from the presentation.
DAN LOISELLE: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I'm Dan Loiselle, and on behalf of Woodbine Entertainment and Labatt Breweries, welcome to WEG Stadium Bar and the draw of the 56th edition of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser. Woodbine Entertainment is very pleased to continue its relationship with Labatt Breweries, the distributors of Budweiser in Canada. They are a tremendous corporate partner. The Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser is the first of Canada's Triple Crown, and without a doubt the most important race for three-year-old Fillies in this country. You know, ladies and gentlemen, being here at the Woodbine Entertainment have a great deal of gratitude for Labatt Breweries through their hard work and dedication, they have elevated the Woodbine Oaks to another level. In fact, VIP guests will be in a tent about halfway down the stretch having a great old time. Many of them never having been to the races before, so not only will they have great racing to see on Sunday afternoon, we'll be introducing new fans to our sport.
And speaking of parties on Woodbine Oaks day, we'll be having a track-side party presented by the Toronto Sun. You'll have a chance to win the ultimate Honda Toronto prize package, and there will be plenty of other great prizes. Can you hang out with the Bud girls? Not a bad idea. The Sunshine girls, and watch racing and hopefully make a pile of money. To get your tickets visit woodbineracetrack.com.
Also on track on Oaks day, you can register for a cash card worth up to $1,000, with registration closing on track at 3:00 p.m. At this time if you'd please join me in welcoming the executive vice president of racing for Woodbine Entertainment, Jamie Martin. Jamie?
JAMIE MARTIN: Thanks, Danny. First of all, what a great turnout. Thank you all for coming out this afternoon. Welcome back to WEG. I want to start off by thanking Chris Mills and all the staff here at WEG for accommodating us this afternoon, and for what we'll enjoy after this meeting here. Danny knows how important our relationship is with Labatt, and we're very fortunate and pleased to have them as a title sponsor on this race, and also their support.
So I want to thank Andrew and his team for all their efforts in making Sunday one of our biggest days of the year.
The Labatt became the title sponsor of the Oaks back in 2001, and now through Budweiser, but we've been looking back to what a year 2001 was for other reasons as well. I had the privilege of being involved in the Horse Racing Hall of Fame as well, and this year we are inducting the 2001 Oaks winner, Dancethruthedawn, into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and also her trainer, Mark, and her owner, Sam-Son Farm.
So we'll induct those three in August, and it will be a special night. Hopefully we'll, as you know, it is the last day to do that in August (Indiscernible), but to do that we'll be talking about an open then. Good luck to all of you, thank you for joining us in the draw today.
DAN LOISELLE: Ladies and gentlemen, some of Canadian's thoroughbred racing's greatest fillies have captured this story, including Roan Inish last year, she added her name to a list of other great fillies who have won the Oaks, including Sealy Hill, wonder winner, Lauries Dancer, and Dance Smartly just to name a few. Could another star emerge this year?
If I could direct your attention to the monitors throughout the room, here are the starters for the 2011 edition of the Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser. [Video playing].
Thanks to Woodbine Entertainments broadcasting department for the production of that video. Ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in welcoming Andrew Sequeira, the key act manager for Labatt Breweries, Andrew Sequeira.
ANDREW SEQUEIRA: Thank you. This event definitely has a very special place in the hearts of all of our Labatt employees. Over the past ten years, Budweiser has been the title sponsor of the Oaks, and it's definitely been a very exciting event for us, and demand for our VIP tent has grown. This year we're estimating about 430 people will be there this year, so it's going to be fantastic.
Again, the weather was beautiful last year. We enjoyed watching Roan Inish take the title, and we're looking forward to it again this year. We are hoping for some wonderful weather, hopefully the jockeys and the horses have a great day to ride in, and, again, good luck to all. Hope for some great beer drinking weather, and hopefully we can all enjoy some great Budweiser products.
DAN LOISELLE: Ladies and gentlemen, our special guest today is "Irish" Micky Ward, his life is a real-life Rocky story. A working class hero, a blue collar athlete from Lowell, Massachusetts, who overcame tremendous difficulties in life and prevailed through hard work and determination. Ward won three New England Gold Glove titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He started off his professional career going 14-0 and captured both the WBU Intercontinental and white welterweight titles, and in so doing won the respect and admiration of fans all over the world.
But Ward will most be remembered for his three fights with Canadian Arturo Gatti. The first fight won by Ward was named Ring Magazine's fight of the year. And round nine of that fight was named the round of the century. If you haven't seen it, you've got to see it to believe it.
Micky's life was chronicled last year in the movie The Fighter. Mark Wahlberg played Micky to perfection, and the fighter was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. If I could direct your attention once again to the television monitors, we have a short video presentation. [Video playing].
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, from Lowell, Massachusetts, presenting the fighting pride of New England, the never quit, never surrender former welterweight champion of the world "Irish" Micky Ward.
MICKY WARD: Thank you.
DAN LOISELLE: Man, those were great fights, Nick. Arturo Gatti, of course, a Canadian. And despite the trilogy of fights you had with Arturo, you wound up becoming great friends. Tell me how that came to pass.
MICKY WARD: It's funny how it happened. I was trying to take his head off for so many rounds. But we became great friends after. We were trying to win with no talking like a lot of other guys do. We didn't do that. We just went out into the ring pretty much.
But some of the memories that I remember the most was that second fight, in the hospital. I was in one bed and he was in the next, and a curtain was up. And Brock was at the fight and he said I think somebody wants to see you. So he opens the curtain and it was Arturo. He was in there getting stitched up or something. And I was in there too. He said, are you okay, Mick, and that was after the fight. From then on I knew he was a great guy and we became great friends after that.
DAN LOISELLE: Tell us how the fights developed? Did you just get called out of the blue one day and say we'd like to do your life story? How did that take place?
MICKY WARD: No, it started years ago. It was a documentary of my brother who went to jail, and then when he did get out, he was a fighter over there. And so the documentary thing got into the hands of somebody at Paramount. We took over, and that's how the movie started.
DAN LOISELLE: Did you have much input into the movie? Did they ask your opinion on certain scenes and did you work with some of the people?
MICKY WARD: Yeah, they had us for the boxing part, but not the acting part. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. But in the boxing part I said to them, I kind of told Mark, do it this way or that way. So I had input on that stuff.
DAN LOISELLE: You trained in Los Angeles and your brother trained with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, did they not?
MICKY WARD: Yeah, they did. Mark's guest house was bigger than my regular house. It was very nice. He's a great guy. We did a couple of weeks at a time up there, and he was a great, tremendous guy, and Christian Bale is a great guy also, and they did a great job .
DAN LOISELLE: Christian Bale winning a Best Supporting Actor for playing Micky's brother. So did you think the movie was an accurate description of your life?
MICKY WARD: It was. There were some things that didn't happen, and some things that did happen. It's awfully hard to do it. But they did a hell of a job. They did a great job. For the most part it was right on. But some parts like the sisters.
DAN LOISELLE: Yeah, the sisters, how did they take that?
MICKY WARD: There were a lot of F-bombs being thrown around (laughing). What are you going to do? That's life.
DAN LOISELLE: So, Micky, as was well documented in the movie the substance abuse problems, how's he doing now?
MICKY WARD: He's doing good. He's training kids in my gym back home, and he's doing the right thing. Hopefully, knock on wood, day by day for him he's here, and right now he's doing good.
DAN LOISELLE: Our condolences to you, Micky, you lost your mother in April. She was so greatly played by Melissa Leo who won Best Supporting Actress in "The Fighter". Your mother was a strong personality. What is the single greatest thing that your mother taught you, Micky?
MICKY WARD: Probably never to give up. She always said via con dios, and I think her attitude, I know I'm not a loud guy, but I keep it inside. She just told me never give up, go for it. Don't ever go half-assed.
DAN LOISELLE: Did you like Melissa Leo's acceptance speech at the Oscars?
MICKY WARD: You have to ask my sisters.
DAN LOISELLE: Blame it on your sisters. You have the toughest ticket in town, in Los Angeles you got to attend the Oscars. That had to be good. Tell us about that?
MICKY WARD: It was great. I'm not used to stuff like that. It was a tremendous honor to be able to have a ticket like that. I remember years ago in the '80s I got to meet Donald Trump. He was there, he watched the movie and things like that.
DAN LOISELLE: How has your life changed since the movie, Mick? I'm thinking in Lowell, Massachusetts, you have not walked into a bar where you've had to buy a beer since this movie came out?
MICKY WARD: Are you kidding me? Now I've got to pay for them. Now I've got money, so they're like he's got money. He can pay. Before it was like, we'll get him one. Now it's like, no, make him pay.
No, it hasn't changed much. Honestly, I'm still the same. I'm never going to change. Money's not going to change me. It's good to have and I enjoy it, but I do great things with my money and keep it simple.
DAN LOISELLE: I heard that earlier in the year you dropped the puck at a Bruins game. You don't happen to know (No Audio).
That had to be cool, dropping the puck?
MICKY WARD: Oh, it was cool. (No Audio).
DAN LOISELLE: I know you played baseball when you were a kid, so you must be a Red Sox fan as well?
MICKY WARD: Well, I don't know, so many countries, states, and I'm for my team, so I love Boston.
DAN LOISELLE: You told me you're throwing the first pitch out at Fenway Park later?
MICKY WARD: Yeah, I've been to the racetrack. I've been to Suffolk Towns, I've been to Wonderland, I've been to Seabrook, I've been to Scarborough Downs in Maine.
DAN LOISELLE: And you've been to some great races too, you were telling me.
MICKY WARD: Yeah.
DAN LOISELLE: So Micky, what's going on with your life now? The movie hubbub has died down a little. How are you filling your days? What is Micky doing with his life now?
MICKY WARD: I have a boxing gym. I'm a part owner in an outdoor floor hockey rink, I'm a part owner in that. And I have a boxing gym, and I'm a teamster.
DAN LOISELLE: What teamster.
MICKY WARD: I'm part of the Local 125, and I'm part of the movie division. So I drive for the movie division.
DAN LOISELLE: Well, it was amazing to sit down with you today. You're an amazing person, an inspiration to us all. Thanks for taking the time and joining us here in Toronto, and sort of good luck with the Bruins next. Micky Ward, ladies and gentlemen.
MICKY WARD: Thank you.
DAN LOISELLE: Ladies and gentlemen, Steve, our racing secretary, Steve Lim. There he is. The box holds the nine fillies for the Oaks on Sunday afternoon. The first of the Woodbine Oaks is $500,000, the winner will receive $300,000. Assisting us with the draw are the Bud Girls, Amelia, Arena, Haley, and Bianca. We have their names on the board. Pretty good.
So, all you have to do is pull those out of there one at a time randomly, whichever ones you want. Steve's going to match those with a number, and we're in business, I think.
The nine fillies in the Oaks. Trainer Mark Casse has a couple, Roxy Gap and Josie Carroll also has a couple, and Inglorious, and Silver Ami. Okay, Mick, go ahead and grab one of those and hand it to me. It's like putting my boxing gloves back on.
And the first one is Roxy Gap. Post 7, Roxy Gap is owned by Melnyk Racing Stables. They won here in '07. Mark Casse trains Patrick Husbands who has won the Oaks twice with Kimchi in '06, and the next year was Sealy Hill, live. Roxy Gap from post 7.
Grand Style, post 4, owned by G. Watts Humphrey, trained by Michael John Boyle who trained the '89 Oaks winner, Blondeinamotel, Eurico Rosa Da Silva will ride Grand Style from post 4.
Bear It's Time, post 5, owned by Bear Stables Ltd., trained by Reade Baker who trained the Oaks winner in '05, her name was Gold Strike. Emma-Jayne Wilson will ride Bear It's Time from post 5.
Charismatically, the gray filly drew post 1, owned by Mike Kowalski, and trained by Sam Di Pasquale. Sammy, great to see him here today, rode by David Clark who has won the Oaks twice, first in '83 with First Summer Day, and in '85 with La Lorgnette who went on to win the Plate. Post 1, Charismatically.
Abrianna, post 2, owned by Stronach Stables who have won the Oaks twice. With Touch Dial in 99, and Ginger Brew in '08, trained by Roger Attfield. He's trained three Oaks winners, Plenty of Sugar and Capdiva, and will be ridden by Javier Castellano who rode the Oaks on Ginger Brew in '08. Post 2, Stronach Stables, Abrianna.
Spooky Kitten, post 8, owned by Roddy Valente, trained by Mark Casse, he also races Roxy Gap. Ridden by Edgar Prado, his first pride in the Oaks in '08. Spooky Kitten.
Next is Marketing Mix, post 9, owned by Glen Hill Farm, trained by Tom Proctor, and ridden by Jose Lezcano, and Jose's first ride in the Oaks on Marketing Mix from post 9.
Silver Ami owned by Ivan Dalos. Third in the 2005 Oaks with Victorious Ami, trained by Josie Carroll, who also trains Inglorious. Ridden by Tyler Pizarro. Silver Ami, post 6.
Inglorious, post 3, owned by the Donver Stables. Trained by Josie Carroll who trained Victory Romance for that second place finish. And Luis Contreras, Woodbine's leading jockey, his first ride in the Oaks will ride Inglorious from the three post.
There you go, ladies and gentlemen, the field for the 2011 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me quickly give you the morning line for Sunday's Labatt Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser. I won't give you the full field, but when betting opens on Sunday, Inglorious will be a 5-2 favorite, Roxy Gap 3-1, Bear It's Time will be the third at 4-1, and Marketing Mix at 6-1, and I should mention that the Plate Trial Stakes is also taking place on Sunday.
A field of nine 3-year-olds for the Trial Stakes, and of course, the Queen's Plate itself is on the 26th of June. That sort of wraps things up for this afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us.
As you can see, and Jamie mentioned, WEG Stadium Bar is a bar like no other. You can wager on the races in the corner. We have a golf simulator, so you can play Pebble Beach a little later if you want. And also we'll have a long driving competition men and women. The winner of each wins a $100 voucher for WEG Stadium Bar. So try the long drive. We have interactive games here, great food. Walk around and take a look at the place, I think you'll be impressed.
To members of the media, besides your press kits, daily updates for the big race on Sunday can be obtained at our racing website, woodbineoaks.com our media communications have worked hard on the site, so pay it a visit, woodbineoaks.com.
One fine our buffet is now open. Thanks again, and thank you Micky Ward!
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports