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Jockey Alan Garcia aboard eventual winner Galina Point waves at announcer Dan Loiselle during the post parade for the Lady Angela Stakes.
The $125,000 Lady Angela Stakes marked the end of an era in horse racing, as it was the final race call of longtime announcer Dan Loiselle, who started his Woodbine tenure back in 1986. It was an unusually cold day for late May in Toronto, with steady rain and temperatures in the high 40's.
Galina Point (far outside) rallies in the stretch.
Jockey Patrick Husbands sent Pohdi Pohdi to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 23.16 and 46.23 while pressed by Classyshadesofgrey and pressed by 22-1 Ashford Calling. On the far turn 7-1 fourth choice River Maid, 5th early, moved out for room to gain the lead through 3/4 in 1:10.91 while chased by Galina Point. The pair dueled over the final furlong, with Galina Point poking her head in front in 1:23.35. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to favorite Pohdi Pohdi third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Galina Point Garcia 9.90 5.50 2.70 3 River Maid Stein 8.40 3.60 9 Pohdi Pohdi Husbands 2.10 Winning Time: 1:23.35 $2 Exacta 6-3 61.60 $2 Trifecta 6-3-9 178.10 $1 Superfecta 6-3-9-2 738.80
Left: Galina Point in the winner's circle. The 4-1 second choice raced 8th about 7 lengths off the pace under Alan Garcia, came out wide for room and got up to win by a head. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $251,879 for owner Gary Barber.
Right: Track announcer Dan Loiselle presents the trophy after making his last call before retiring. During the stretch run he said over the microphone, "It's a filly fist fight in the Lady Angela! Outside Galina Point, inside River Maid...down to the wire together...Galina Point stormed home to win the Lady Angela..and that's that!"
Left: Second place finisher River Maid returns after the race. The 7-1 fourth choice raced 5th 5 lengths off the pace under Justin Stein, gained the lead in the stretch but was outfinished. The Bob Tiller trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 5 starts, earning $80,236 for owner The Very Dry Stable.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Pohdi Pohdi in the post parade. The 6-5 favorite set the pace under Patrick Husbands but gave way in the final 1/16 to finish 3rd beaten 1 1/2 lengths. The Bob Tiller trainee improved her record to 3 wins and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $120,722 for owner 3 Sons Racing Stable.
Left: Dan Loiselle poses in the announcer booth, his workspace at Woodbine since 1986. Woodbine Racetrack has only had 2 full time announcers, Daryl Wells Sr. and Loiselle. Robert Geller, previously of Emerald Downs and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, takes over on Saturday June 13, the day before the Woodbine Oaks.
Right: Loiselle prepares for the start of the race, binoculars focused at the starting gate at the 7 furlong chute. TV analyst Dawn Lupul called the rest of the card, while backup announcer Greg Blanchard will call on an interim basis in the 2 weeks before Geller's arrival.
Left: Dan Loiselle (center) poses with the Woodbine jockey colony after making his last call. Also here are his wife Wendy (far left) and his friend and retired New York announcer Tom Durkin second from the right. Wendy Loiselle also worked at Woodbine for almost 40 years in public relations and customer service, and retired with her husband. Woodbine's CEO Jim Lawson commented that the Loiselles were instrumental in establishing the company's "Woodbine Cares" charity program.
Right: After his final call in the Lady Angela Stakes, Dan returned to the grandstand to cut a cake to share with the fans and sign autographs. At a private reception held later he joked about his reasons for retiring early, when he probably could have continued on. "I used to take 3 minutes to memorize a 10 horse field, now it takes 10 minutes to memorize a 3 horse field. I started to forget things. I would forget horses' names. I would forget jockeys' names. I would forget trainers' names. I would forget to zip up my fly. And then I would forget to zip DOWN my fly!" Speaking seriously and echoing the sentiments of Tom Durkin he added, "I felt it was time. I've accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. It's been wonderful. It's been great. Thank you."
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