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Biofuel headed to Mother Goose
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Reade Baker is looking forward to seeing Biofuel compete against some of the best in her division when she goes postward in Saturday's Mother Goose at Belmont Park.
The Mother Goose, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $250,000.
Biofuel won the Grade 3 Mazarine over 1 1/16 miles here last fall and went on to finish an unlucky fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. Voted Canada's co-champion 2-year-old filly along with Negligee, Biofuel returned with an impressive victory in the six-furlong Star Shoot on April 10, and then doubled up in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette here May 23.
"We had looked at the Mother Goose for her all along, if we were good enough coming out of the La Lorgnette," said Baker.
Biofuel left Woodbine on Tuesday morning and was to be joined by Baker Wednesday. Regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva will be heading down for the mount.
"Everything's going great," said Baker, who trains the Kentucky-bred Biofuel for her owner and breeder, Brereton C. Jones. "I couldn't have one going into a race any better."
"We had to go somewhere; there's nothing here for her until the fall. It's logical we'd go looking for a graded stake."
La Rocca, Chief Counsel headed west
La Rocca and Chief Counsel, both of whom are trained by Terry Jordan for owner Peter Redekop, earned identical career-high Beyer Speed Figures of 92 here last Sunday and are scheduled to make their next starts in western Canada.
La Rocca, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly, finished third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the 1 1/16-mile Hill 'n' Dale Stakes.
La Rocca will be heading to Northlands Park, and then to Hastings, for filly and mare stakes.
"She ran an impressive race on Sunday," said Jordan. "She tries so hard. It's discouraging to a horse when they try as hard as she does, and get beat."
La Rocca won the Sonoma at Northlands and the British Columbia Oaks at Hastings during her 3-year-old campaign.
Chief Counsel, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old colt, was making his first start for Jordan and Redekop after being purchased privately last month. Chief Counsel had finished fourth in both the Grade 2 Lane's End at Turfway and the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland. He prevailed by a nose in Sunday's first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.
"There's room for improvement," said Jordan.
Chief Counsel is scheduled to make his next start in the $75,000 Manitoba Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race at Assiniboia Downs on Aug. 2.
From there, Chief Counsel would be scheduled to continue west for derbies in Edmonton and Vancouver.
Essence Hit Man to Achievement
Barring a last-minute family revolt, Audre Cappuccitti plans to start Essence Hit Man in the July 3 Achievement at six furlongs rather than the following day's 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate.
"I'm just not comfortable with him going in the Plate," said Cappuccitti, who trains Essence Hit Man and is the owner and breeder of the gelding in partnership with her husband, Gord.
Essence Hit Man won the six-furlong Woodstock and seven-furlong Queenston here this spring before finishing third when trying two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Marine on May 29.
The $150,000 Achievement, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds, attracted just seven nominees.
Who We Gunna Call works for Plate
Who We Gunna Call worked six furlongs in 1:14 here Tuesday morning and is on target for the $1 million Queen's Plate.
Gerry Olguin was aboard for the drill and has the call for the Plate.
Tino Attard, who trains Who We Gunna Call for Castle Peak Farm and Construction, sent out the colt to work in company with Grey Whizz, who opened up in the early stages before being overtaken by his stablemate. Grey Whizz was clocked in 1:14.80.
"It was a good work," said Attard, adding that he caught Who We Gunna Call galloping out seven furlongs in 1:26.40.
Who We Gunna Call was equipped with blinkers for the workout and may go postward with the equipment for the first time in the Plate.
Who We Gunna Call finished third in a first-level, 1 1/8-mile allowance race in his local debut.
Ghost Fleet blazes five furlongs
Ghost Fleet blazed five furlongs in a bullet 57.80 seconds here Monday under Richard Dos Ramos, who has picked up the mount for the Plate.
"I was very impressed," said Sid Attard, who trains Ghost Fleet for Mel Lawson's Jim Dandy Stable. "I said to Dos Ramos that he's not a good work horse and that if he was too lazy to just get after him a little bit."
Ghost Fleet wound up settling in behind two other horses.
"When Dos Ramos tapped him on the shoulder, he took off," said Attard.
Ghost Fleet, who was caught galloping out six furlongs in 1:12, had worn blinkers in his two starts this year but worked without the equipment on Monday and will race without them in the Plate.
After finishing an encouraging second in the Queenston, Ghost Fleet had finished a flat sixth in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 13.
Artic Fern has easy work
Artic Fern, one of the leading Queen's Plate candidates, worked six furlongs in 1:15 on the training track last Sunday with regular rider David Clark in the irons.
"He just cruised around, nice and even," said Clark. "He finished up good enough."
Artic Fern, a homebred who is trained by Mike Keogh for Gustav Schickedanz, will be seeking his third straight win after motoring through his first two allowance conditions in impressive fashion in two tries at 1 1/16 miles.
Hotep and his Sam-Son Farm stablemate Dark Cloud Dancer both breezed five furlongs here last Saturday.
Patrick Husbands, who has the call on Hotep for the Queen's Plate, was aboard for his 1:01 move while Dark Cloud Dancer was clocked in 1:01.80 under exercise rider Billy O'Connor.
Hotep is heading into the Queen's Plate off a second-place finish behind the sharp shipper Exhi in the Marine, an open race for 3-year-olds.
Dark Cloud Dancer finished second when making his third career start and stretching out for the first time in a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles here June 6.
Gonzalez wins 1,000th race - twice
Trainer Nick Gonzalez was feted for his 1,000th career victory after sending out Boca Pass to capture the eighth race at Fort Erie on Monday. But, through a twist of fate, Gonzalez retroactively added another winner to his total on Monday and already had reached that milestone.
Gonzalez had sent out Klondike Jane to finish second in the last race of the 2009 Fort Erie meeting but the first-place finisher, Back to You, subsequently came up with a positive medication test.
That situation was finally resolved over the past few days and a ruling issued that disqualified Back to You and made Klondike Jane the winner.
The offshoot is that Boca Pass actually was the 1,001st winner for Gonzalez and, as far as history books go, his 1,000th will have come at Woodbine last Sunday with Michael's Bad Boy.
"We knew in the back of our minds that this could happen," said Gonzalez, who no longer trains Klondike Jane.
Gonzalez, 58, saddled his first winner in 1976 and maintains strings both at Fort Erie and at Woodbine with the help of his wife and assistant, Martha Gonzalez.