10/10/2004 11:00PM

A Bit O'Gold tops $1 million in earnings

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
A Bit O'Gold's Ontario Derby win keeps him on top in his division.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A Bit O' Gold reasserted his dominance in the 3-year-old division here Sunday, turning back Organ Grinder convincingly in the $160,050 and boosting his 2004 bankroll past the $1 million mark.

No matter what transpires the rest of the year, A Bit O'Gold should be front and center in the division balloting and could attract attention in the Sovereign Award Horse of the Year vote.

"It's been nothing short of awesome," said Doug Anderson, managing partner of A Bit O'Gold's owner, the Two Bit Racing Stable, at the barn here Monday. "It's hard to describe. When you stop and think about it, it just becomes that more amazing. What a fantastic horse this is, and what a fantastic run we've had."

A Bit O'Gold was upset by Niigon in the Queen's Plate but took the last two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales and Breeders', and won his third straight stakes in the Ontario Derby under regular rider Jono Jones.

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips, also a part-owner of A Bit O'Gold, is looking at Aqueduct's 1 1/8-mile Discovery Handicap, a $200,000 race for 3-year-olds on Oct. 27, as a possibility for the gelding's next start. A Bit O'Gold's only options at this meet would be going against older horses.

Dance With Ravens's breeding shows

Royally bred Dance With Ravens ($4.80) won his maiden in style at Woodbine on Monday, taking the Grade 2 for 2-year-olds with determination.

Dance With Ravens tracked the pace along the rail under Todd Kabel, as Accountforthegold set fractions of 23.77 and 48.51 seconds in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Favored What's Up Dude raced three wide in a stalking position, and loomed prominently on the far turn, but folded in the stretch as Dance With Ravens and Accountforthegold battled through the final furlong. Dance With Ravens edged away in deep stretch to win by a half-length, in 1:47.79.

"My horse dug in hard and fought a very game race," said Kabel. "He's a big colt who's getting fitter with every race. I'm looking forward to a big year with him next year."

Dance With Ravens, an A.P. Indy colt out of 1991 Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly, earned $162,000 of the $261,750 purse for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad.

Criminal Mind rallied wide to finish third in the six-horse field, while What's Up Dude ended up fourth.

Mona Rose E.P. Taylor-bound?

Mona Rose probably earned herself a berth in the Sept. 24 E.P. Taylor Stakes with her victory in the $104,000 Belle Geste under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva here Sunday.

The Belle Geste, for Canadian-bred fillies and mares, was the second stakes score at 1 1/8 miles on turf for Mona Rose, the first coming in the Grade 3 Dance Smartly here July 17. The E.P. Taylor is a Grade 1, $750,000 turf race for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles.

"There's an extremely high possibility she'll run there," said Earl Barnett, who trains Mona Rose for owner-breeders Paul and Frank O'Brien.

"The mile and a quarter will obviously be no trouble for this filly. Her rider said he had lots of horse Sunday, and she galloped out good."

Mona Rose was making her first start on Lasix in the Belle Geste after showing up with traces of blood and a significant amount of mucus in her lungs after her fifth-place finish here in the Sept. 19 Canadian.

"She showed she needed Lasix to help her run her best," said Barnett. "She finished with a lot of run, and it didn't take that much out of her. She was a happy, healthy horse this morning."

Black Rock Road going up, up, up

Black Rock Road, who did not begin her career until Aug. 22, continued her rapid ascent here on Saturday with a victory in the $165,600 Carotene Stakes.

"I really thought this was asking a lot of her," said David Bell, who trains Black Rock Road for Eugene and Laura Melnyk. "She steps up every time."

The Carotene score was the third in a row for Black Rock Road, a Canadian-bred 3-year-old filly.

"She was just an immature 2-year-old who never left the farm, and this spring she just had some issues going," said Bell, who took Black Rock Road into his barn early this summer.

"We kind of liked her, but she was one of those fillies who was a little bit temperamental. We had to baby her along, let her do her thing."

Black Rock Road has made all of her starts on turf, progressing from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile to the 1 1/8 miles of the Carotene.

"After her first race, I was obviously very impressed," said Bell. "And, she did it very greenly. It was the same in her second race."

Bell had entered Black Rock Road in the Carotene prep, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that was scheduled for Sept. 18 but did not fill.

"I wound up waiting another week to go in a nonwinners-other-than with her," said Bell. "The timing was a little close, but it worked out well anyway."

Bell is uncertain of his next move with Black Rock Road, who should have a bright future.

Wholelottabourbon wins third stakes

Wholelottabourbon continued on a roll in stakes races in Saturday's supporting feature, capping an added-money triple in the $131,625 Bull Page for Ontario-sired 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Kentucky-bred but Ontario-sired, Wholelottabourbon also won the six-furlong Colin and 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy, both stakes for open company here this summer.

"I didn't really know what to expect Saturday," said Nick Gonzalez, who trains Wholelottabourbon for the M.A.D. Racing Stable and his wife, Martha Gonzalez. "The track's been a lot different than the first few times he ran. It's a tiring, deep track. he likes the track a little harder."

Gonzalez will point Wholelottabourbon for the $125,000 Frost King here Oct. 27. The $125,000 Kingarvie, an Ontario Sire Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on closing day, Dec. 12, then would be a possibility.

* Jockey agent Kelly Regan has started booking mounts for apprentice rider Sunny Singh and journeyman Jerry Baird.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink