05/14/2003 11:00PM

Castlebrook retires after sixth-place finish


MIAMI - Castlebrook, who battled with Coolbythepool in the last three years for supremacy in the local filly and mare handicap division, joined her former rival in the breeding shed this week. The retirement came just days after she finished sixth while making her 2003 debut in an allowance race here Sunday.

Castlebrook was purchased privately by the Town & Country Corp. after her 2002 campaign. Town & Country also campaigned Coolbythepool, whom they retired and bred to Montbrook at the end of the 2002 season.

Bringing Castlebrook back "was a longshot at best," said Marty Wolfson, who trained Coolbythepool and had Castlebrook in his barn for just one race after she was purchased last fall.

"She was bought as a broodmare prospect, but with Coolbythepool retired we thought we'd take a shot and try to bring Castlebrook to the races for another year," Wolfson said. "She's got bad ankles, and although she trained extremely well, you could see in the race Sunday, the way she broke slow and ran with her head up, that she was protecting and taking care of herself. And I'm glad she did. This way she'll retire sound."

Castlebrook retires with 12 victories from 42 starts and earnings of nearly $450,000. She won two stakes in 2002, including the Shocker T. Handicap, in which she defeated Coolbythepool. She was a four-time stakes winner the previous year.

"Obviously it's late in the breeding season, but hopefully she'll be able to get in foal to Notebook," said Wolfson. "If not, they'll just have to wait until next year."

Lord Juban 'training great'

Trainer Tim Ritvo reports that his multiple stakes winner Lord Juban is only a few weeks away from launching his comeback.

Lord Juban was the leader of the 3-year-old turf division in south Florida until suffering a season-ending suspensory injury shortly after his 3 1/2-length victory in the Simply Majestic Stakes on June 1. Before the Simply Majestic, Lord Juban had captured the Fabulous Frolic and the Caltech Handicap at Gulfstream Park and had been second behind the odds-on Orchard Park in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes.

"He's been training great," said Ritvo, shortly before catching a flight to New York, where he has eight horses stabled at Belmont Park. "Right now I'm pointing him for an overnight stakes on June 7 for his first start, and if all goes well, the Americana Handicap on July 4."

Ritvo, who also has high hopes for his recent 2-year-old winner Outstanding Lady, has 40 horses stabled locally. His wife, Kathy, has also reactivated her trainer's license after a four-year absence and has six bedded down on the grounds.

"Kathy just took the time off to raise the kids," Ritvo said.

Kathy Ritvo is the sister of trainer Mike Petro and jockey Nick Petro, both mainstays on the Delaware and Maryland circuits.

What a Price, Laurica lead turf field

What a Price and Laurica head a small field of older fillies and mares set to go 1 1/16 miles on the turf in Saturday's $40,000 Solo Haina Stakes.

What a Price has not started since finishing second in the Grade 3 Suwannee River Handicap at Gulfstream on March 2. Laurica finished third, just a length behind the odds-on Cellars Shiraz, in Tampa Bay Downs's Turf Distaff Handicap in her last race on the grass on April 6.