06/07/2006 11:00PM

Anderson excels at multi-tasking


FORT ERIE, Ontario - While juggling three occupations Bruce Anderson has been thriving as a trainer this year.

Anderson, also a blacksmith and rodeo rider, has scored 4 times from 10 starts this year. He is 1 for 3 at Woodbine and 3 for 7 at Fort Erie.

Anderson, and his wife, Francine Villeneuve, Canada's all-time leading female jockey, prepare their runners on their Florida farm during the winter. To further conditioning, they occasionally run a horse at Tampa Bay Downs, where Anderson has been a longtime farrier. He does the same trade at the Fort Erie meet.

"It's more profitable to go through your conditions here," said Anderson of running at Fort Erie. "It's very tough at Tampa - no easy spots. Some come down from Miami."

Anderson was an owner-trainer when he saddled four winners here in 2004. Last year he was winless with two starts here and one at Woodbine. At the current meet he has clients from Florida.

"I didn't recruit the owners," said Anderson. "They came to me. I didn't turn them back."

Anderson, 38, has been in the business of horses all his life.

"My father was a blacksmith and trainer in the western U.S.," he said. "He runs a blacksmith school in Montana, where I was born and raised."

As a rodeo rider Anderson is in action often twice a week. "I'm a steer wrestler and team roper and I go to competitions in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario," he said.

Gonzalez moves up in standings

Nick Gonzalez moved into a second-place tie with three others in the trainer standings on Tuesday when he sent out two Frank Stronach runners, Benz Boy ($9.40) and National Hero ($8.20), to win. Stacey Cooper tops the trainers with seven winners. Gonzalez now has five.

"Benz Boy had a subpar race at Woodbine his last start out," said Gonzalez. "He didn't care for the mud. [Tuesday] he got the kind of track he liked - and the company he liked."

National Hero was an impressive two-length winner in an optional claimer for maidens on the turf. The 4-year-old National Hero was making his third lifetime start.

"The turf runner is a pretty decent horse," said Gonzalez of National Hero. "He's been nagged by some problems his whole career. He finally got over them. And we were confident he would run well. He's very well bred and he can go a lot farther than seven furlongs. We've got a lot of good things to look forward to."

Turf only for Kris's Dancer

Weather permitting, last season's horse of the year at the Fort, Kris's Dancer, will make his 2006 debut on Saturday in a one-mile race scheduled for the grass.

"I'm strictly sticking to the grass with him this year," said trainer Jason Giliforte about Kris's Dancer, the 2005 Puss N Boots winner. "It's easier for him. He's 7 and he can't handle too many starts and he tries his hardest every time he's out."

Giliforte worries that his stable star will not get a chance to repeat his big victory.

"He'll need three starts here to be eligible for the race," he said. "I'm wondering if they will run three races on the turf for $20,000 claimers this summer."