04/03/2007 11:00PM

Carroll returns to Canada ready to win early


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Josie Carroll had a solid winter meeting at Fair Grounds, sending out eight winners and 18 other in-the-money finishers from 61 starters.

But Carroll was not present for the entire Fair Grounds meeting; she returned home to Woodbine in mid-March.

"I wanted to get horses ready for the opening weekend," said Carroll, who has 37 stalls here. "I'm pretty happy with the results."

Carroll had cause to celebrate as she sent out Hello Haley to win her maiden in last Saturday's opening race of the meeting and Vibank to win the afternoon's feature, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance prep for the Jacques Cartier Stakes.

Her five other starters yielded one second and three fourth-place checks.

Vibank, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old colt owned by Alice and Jim Sapara, was making his second start of the year.

In his 2007 debut, which was his first start in almost 10 months, Vibank had finished last of six in an allowance sprint at Fair Grounds on March 1. On Saturday, Vibank sat just off the pace of front-running Quick in Deed before coming on late for a 1o1/2-length victory.

"I was hoping he'd run that type of race," said Carroll. "He's a horse with a lot of talent, but I think he's got a little discouraged in a couple of races.

"He needed to get his confidence up; sometimes that's just as important as physical conditioning."

If all goes well, Vibank will swing back in the $125,000 Jacques Cartier, a six-furlong race for 4-year-olds and upward, which is the first stakes race of the meeting on April 14.

Good and Lucky, also trained by Carroll, is another among the 16 horses nominated to the Jacques Cartier, but is a less likely participant.

"He probably wants to go farther," said Carroll. "He had a very good winter; he improved tremendously."

Good and Lucky, a Florida-bred 4-year-old gelding, won the off-the-turf Woodchopper at 1 1/16 miles in the slop at Fair Grounds on Dec. 30 and doubled up over another sloppy strip in a third-level allowance there Jan.o22.

In his last start, Good and Lucky finished fourth behind the talented Master Command in the Grade 2, 1o1/8-mile New Orleans Handicap.

Hello Haley, a Florida-bred 3-year-old, was a 5 3/4-length winner for Carroll in her second career start Saturday. In her debut, at Fair Grounds on Feb. 24, Hello Haley finished third.

"Now do you go nonwinners-of-two with her, or look at the Star Shoot?" said Carroll. "We'll make that decision somewhere down the line."

The $125,000 Star Shoot, a six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, will be run here April 22.

Edenwold getting a freshening

The Carroll-trained Edenwold, winner of last year's Queen's Plate for the Saparas, is on the farm in Ocala, Fla., and there is no timetable for his return.

"He's getting a little down time right now," said Carroll. "There's lots of grass; he can get his head down, and freshen up."

Edenwold raced twice at Gulfstream this winter, finishing eighth of 10 in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope and fifth of eight under open allowance conditions.

"The company was extremely tough, but I don't think we saw the best of him," said Carroll. "I don't think he ever got comfortable on the Gulfstream track; he did not seem to handle it well.

"But, he loves the Polytrack here - he ran a couple of great races. I'm very optimistic about that."

Why Baker, Hammett had to scratch

Trainers Reade Baker and Jody Hammett were the victims of a paperwork glitch that led to the scratching of seven horses on last Sunday's card.

Baker and Hammett had gone in to renew their Ontario Racing Commission licenses on Sunday morning but could not be granted licenses without presenting up-to-date workers' compensation documents for their stables, which they did not have.

There was no way to obtain the proper documentation from the government on a Sunday. So, with Baker and Hammett lacking 2007 licenses, their horses were not allowed to start.

All ORC licenses expire on Marcho31 of the year following their issue, so Baker and Hammett had not been prevented from entering horses. Baker, in fact, ran five horses on Saturday's card.

Five Baker horses were scratched Sunday along with two of Hammett's.

Four local trainers at Keeneland

Woodbine-based trainers Roger Attfield, Darwin Banach, Mark Frostad, and Malcolm Pierce all have divisions at Keeneland for the meeting which began Friday.

Attfield entered two horses, Include Us and Ourtimetodance, in split divisions of a 1 1/16-mile maiden special race on the opening-day card.

Include Us showed promise in two starts here last fall. Ourtimetodance trailed in his only start at Gulfstream this spring.

Both Include Us and Ourtimetodance are eligible for the $1 million Queen's Plate, the 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, which will be run here this year on June 24.

McAleney recovering from surgery

Jockey Jim McAleney, who suffered a fractured femur in a training accident here March 29, was scheduled to be released from hospital this week after undergoing surgery.

"It went very well," said Danny Williams, McAleney's agent. "The surgeon said it couldn't have gone any better.

"In his words, he dropped a nail down the middle of Jim's femur to stabilize it. It was a clean break and an easy operation."

There is no set date for McAleney's return to riding.

"The doctor did say he would recover fast, but when the time comes to discuss Jim's return, he will do it under the doctor's supervision," said Williams.