08/27/2003 11:00PM

Agosti places Giliforte's grip on training title in jeopardy

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FORT ERIE, Ontario - Tom Agosti, with three wins in the past racing week, including the late double on Tuesday, has unseated Layne Giliforte at the top of the trainer standings at Fort Erie.

Giliforte, a Buffalo, N.Y., native who has won the title in each of the last five years, was one up on Agosti as the week began but was shut out in nine attempts.

Agosti, born in nearby Kenmore N.Y., now has 36 victories and is winning at a 27 percent clip.

Remarkably, Agosti's numbers have been earned without the help of Right Stop, his stable star.

Right Stop, a winner of five races last year and $128,102, is 0 for 3 at the Fort this year. The sole win for the 5-year-old Right Stop in 2003 was at Tampa Bay in February.

Right Stop was second in the Blazing Sevens Stakes here July 19 and third in the Cool Reception here Aug. 4, but will not be in the Fort's Puss N Boots on Monday.

Since 1996 it has become a tradition after the Puss N Boots for at least one member of the winning connections to plunge into one of the infield lakes. Puss N Boots, trained by the late Frank Merrill Jr., detoured from the turf course stretch while holding a commanding lead in a stakes and plunged into the water.

"[Right Stop] can't run a jump on the grass, not even a few steps," said Agosti. "We're headed to the Henry Wadsworth Memorial Handicap on Sept. 6, at Finger Lakes. It's for $35,000."

'Magician' produces first winner

When Magic Jack won the first race here Tuesday, a maiden special weight, the 3-year-old colt became the first winner for his sire, John the Magician.

Magic Jack was from the first crop of John the Magician, the winner of Woodbine's 1997 Breeders' Stakes, the third jewel of Canada's Triple Crown.

"We took John the Magician to Calgary three years ago," said owner Syd Cooper. "He has passed away. I've got five offsprings, and I think there are 20 out there. They are coming around now."

Robinson out for the year

Kris Robinson, who was the Fort's leading apprentice last year, is likely through for the season. He suffered a fracture of the third lumbar vertebra.

Robinson was aboard Ocala Frost when the 4-year-old colt broke a leg while trailing in the Peninsula Stakes on the turf course on Sunday. The rider flipped in the air and landed on his back.

"It could have been a lot worse," said Robinson's agent, Bill Lane. "Lucky he had a flak jacket on. The doctor said he would be out three months but Kris doesn't believe he will be out that long."

Robinson is 13th in the standings with 20 wins. He was the track's fifth-leading rider last year with 73 wins.

Robinson joins Mike Quong and Kelly MacKay on the sidelines. Both were injured in a spill Aug. 17. Quong emerged with a leg fracture and MacKay with bruising and soft-tissue damage. Neither is expected back in 2003.