08/04/2005 11:00PM

Bucked shins? Try a bear attack


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Lukin Awesome, who won the B.C. Cup Nursery Stakes last Monday, had to overcame a lot more than the usual assortment of 2-year-old problems in order to make it to the races. Most 2-year-olds have to deal with growing pains, bucked shins, or viruses, but when Lukin Awesome was four months old, he was very lucky to survive an attack by a black bear.

A 2-year-old gelding by Regal Intention, Lukin Awesome is owned and was bred and raised by Leo and Norma Shaw. They own a small acreage in Barnhartvale, just outside of Kamloops, British Columbia. Kamloops is located in the interior of B.C., and it takes about four hours to drive there from Vancouver. According to Norma Shaw, Barnhartvale is in the heart of bear country, and her guess is that Lukin Awesome was attacked because he somehow ended up between a mother and her cubs.

"He was out in a pasture with his dam when he was attacked," said Shaw. "I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the bear was probably protecting her cubs. She chased him through a ranch-style wooden fence and one of the boards was driven into his chest. He ended up with a wound that was a good six inches in diameter."

Shaw said it took about three hours of surgery to repair the wound and a lot of nursing before he was healthy again. She thinks Lukin Awesome's cantankerous nature might have helped him persevere.

"He's had an attitude right from the time he was little," she said.

Terry Clyde, who trains Lukin Awesome, said she agreed with Shaw's assessment of the horse's character.

"He's not what I would call a nice horse," she said. "You really have to watch him when you're walking in the shed row. He usually takes a shot at every feed tub he sees. Actually, Chris Loseth broke him and he wasn't sure he was going to be able to break him. But, that's okay - as long as he runs like that, I don't care how nasty he is."

Lukin Awesome looked good winning a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in his debut May 7, but was beaten by a combined 34 lengths in his next two starts. Nevertheless, Clyde expected him to run a better race in the Nursery. He has now earned more than $90,000 for the Shaws.

"He had respiratory problems going into his last two races," she said. "He was full of mucus and we just couldn't seem to get it cleared up. Finally, we found the right antibiotics and got a hold on it. After his last work, we scoped him and he had cleared up."

Clyde can look forward to training a half-brother to Lukin Awesome next year. The Shaws were considering selling the son of Katahoula County but have decided to race him themselves.

They probably could have received a decent price. He is the fourth foal out of Miss the Martinis - the only broodmare the Shaws own - and all three of her previous foals are winners, including Miss Notable Claim, who has earned $93,710.

"We're just having too much fun, so we're going to race him," said Norma Shaw. "We usually make the trip to Vancouver to see Lukin Awesome run, but we're so busy with work right now that we had to stay home and watch his race on television. There was a lot of yelling going on in our living room."

Clyde said Lukin Awesome would likely make his next start in the New Westminster on Aug. 28 with an eye toward the Jack Diamond Futurity on Oct. 2.

Quiet Cash may try Longacres Mile

Trainer Terry Jordan isn't sure where Quiet Cash is going to make his next start. The 4-year-old son of Real Quiet scored another impressive win in the $75,000 Great Canadian Stakes last Sunday. He has now won 4 of his 5 starts at the meet and would have to be considered a serious candidate for the Longacres Mile.

"I've nominated him to the Mile," said Jordan. "But I might run him in the Hastings Speed. It would be a lot easier spot, but there is a big difference in the purses."

The Grade 3 Longacres Mile, to be run Aug. 21, is worth $250,000, and the Hastings Speed, on the same day, carries a $40,000 purse. Quiet Cash would earn considerably more by finishing third in the Mile than by winning the Speed.

"We'll take a look and see who else nominates to the Mile before we make up our minds," said Jordan.

Turner fined $5,000 for drug positive

For the second time in just a few weeks, a trainer at Hastings has decided to accept a $5,000 fine rather than take a 30-day suspension.

Michael Turner was given the option when a horse he trains, Proud Review, tested positive for guaifenesin, which is used as a cough medicine. It was the second time a horse trained by Turner tested positive for guaifenesin at the meet.

Mel Snow also opted to pay the fine when a horse he trains, Actxotic, tested positive for Bute. Snow is appealing the severity of the fine.