09/18/2008 11:00PM

Choreography still churns out checks


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Every now and then racing fans fall in love with a particular Thoroughbred, and each time the horse steps foot on the track the excitement goes up and the emotion sets in.

Choreography is one of those horses at Fort Erie.

The 8-year-old Choreography has had his share of ups and downs, and the heydays of 99 Beyer Speed Figures and stakes company may be long gone, but the public has not forgotten.

This year, Choreography has once again brought smiles to his followers' faces by scoring five times in nine races, three at the Fort and two at Woodbine, while moving his lifetime earnings to $411,162.

Owner/trainer Ted Knight, 66, who has been around the racetrack for 35 years, said Choreography has been a big part of his life since he claimed the gelding in the fall of 2004.

"I just have the one horse, but he is plenty enough to keep me busy in the mornings," said Knight.

"The two of us have that special relationship that develops between man and animal and I really do love this old guy. He is a terror in the mornings and you have to be on your toes when working around him, but the challenge is worth it. He is all horse."

Knight's challenge also has included nursing Choreography through a series of ailments.

"Choreography has certainly had his share of problems in the past few years, and there was a period where I gave him a year off just to relax and recuperate," said Knight.

"Last year, off the long layoff, we decided to move him into the lower claiming ranks to restore his confidence. It apparently worked as he did win at Woodbine as a longshot [32-1] only to be disqualified and placed third."

That disqualification did not discourage Knight and over the winter he freshened Choreography and prepared him for another shot at the winner's circle.

"This spring he won his first start at Woodbine and then came right back with a second win at the $10,000 level," said Knight. "It was confirmation that his confidence had been restored. We moved on to Fort Erie in June and he has been a bear since arriving here, winning three and coming close in the other two tries."

Knight, who had the good mare Serenity Empress, a winner of slightly less than $200,000 in the 1990s, has done his share of traveling to different tracks, But for the time being, he has settled in nicely at the Fort.

"Serenity was another one that stole my heart," said Knight, "but she was a definite closer that came from the clouds while Choreography is a sprinter who likes to maintain front-end contact. Either way, it has been a real gift to have two horses in your life that have done so much and mean so much."

In that regard, many race fans here at the Fort are in agreement as they await one of their favorite horses to show up in the entries.

Harveys Victor much improved

Tim Patterson claimed the 3-year-old gelding Harveys Victor for $4,000 in mid-July and his initial thoughts after the race must have included some grave doubts.

His claim for owners Brenda Aubin and Beryl Calabro ended up some 30 lengths behind the winner. In his next start at the $5,000 level, Harvey's Victor was beaten 21 lengths.

But both those races came over muddy and sloppy tracks, which found Harveys Victor slipping and sliding in the mire.

Finally, in his third start for the new connections, a fast track brought a sprint win in the $5,000 nonwinners-of-two claiming ranks.

That was followed by a move to $7,500 and a route win in nonwinners-of-three company.

Back sprinting last Sunday, on a drying-out racetrack, Harveys Victor made it three in a row under Melanie Pinto at the $10,000 nonwinners-of-four level.

Harveys Victor may not be finished just yet as he was dominant in those winning races. Look forward to his next try - but only if it comes over a fast track.