08/11/2007 12:00AM

Colorful Judgement back in form


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Colorful Judgement won last year's With Approval in his first start for trainer Alec Fehr, and will be looking to repeat here Sunday in the $75,000 overnight stakes over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

The With Approval, for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and upward, attracted a field of six.

Colorful Judgement, a 7-year-old gelding, was claimed for $60,000 from his owner and breeder, Sam-Son Farm, here July 9, 2006, and provided a quick return on investment for Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc. in the With Approval.

After failing to find the range in his next nine starts, Colorful Judgement heads into Sunday's With Approval off a victory after scoring for $62,500 over 1 1/16 miles on turf here July 28.

"I think he's been a little bit more consistent this year," said Fehr. "After the With Approval last year, he kind of fell off form. But he had a legitimate excuse, with that stone in his foot that we found.

"He started training like a real horse again after that."

Colorful Judgement showed his gratitude with a strong second-place finish in the Chief Bearhart, a 1 1/4-mile race that was taken off the turf. Colorful Judgement wound up his campaign with a second-place finish in the Valedictory prep and a third-place finish in the Valedictory. He has earned a check in each of his four starts this year, including fourth money in the Grade 3 Dominion Day two starts back.

"He's acting like a much younger horse than he is," said Fehr. "After the Dominion Day, we sent him home for a little bit. He had four weeks between his races."

Colorful Judgement now is running back on two weeks' notice, which Fehr admits is not ideal.

"I would have liked to have a little more time since his last race," said Fehr.

Sterwins, a 4-year-old gelding who will be making his second start for trainer Malcolm Pierce, could be the horse to beat in the With Approval.

The runner-up for owner-breeder Eugene Melnyk in last year's Queen's Plate when trained by Todd Pletcher, Sterwins finished strongly to be second when making his first start in more than seven months in the Ontario Jockey Club here July 21.

The Ontario Jockey Club, for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and upward, was the first start on turf for Sterwins.

"I was really happy," said Pierce. "Coming off the layoff and going seven furlongs, he relaxed really well and came running.

"He should have absolutely no problems with the mile and an eighth. It actually should be a better distance for him."

French Beret, dropping in company after finishing eighth in the Grade 2 Northern Dancer over 1 1/2 miles of turf, also would be tough here on one of his better efforts.

Handicapping contest approaching

The entry box remains open for Woodbine's annual Thoroughbred handicapping challenge, which will be held on the weekend of Aug. 25-26. The entry fee is $250 and the field will be limited to 275 contestants. All entry fees will be returned as prize money.

If the contest is fully subscribed, the first prize will be $28,687. The top 10 finishers will share in the purse, and a total of $5,000 will be earmarked for the top three on the first day of the contest.

The top three finishers will earn a trip to Las Vegas for the 2008 Daily Racing Form/NTRA handicapping challenge.

The format calls for contestants to make 10 mythical wagers, $2 to win and $2 to place, on each day of the contest.

Three races each day will be mandatory plays, selected by the contest organizers. The remaining seven plays can be made from any combination of races at Woodbine, Fort Erie, Saratoga, and the first seven races at Arlington Park. Win payoffs will be capped at $42 and place payoffs at $22.

The deadline for entering is Friday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m.

* Jockey Todd Kabel has been fined $500 for indiscriminate use of the whip in the Royal North here last Monday.

The stewards ruled that Kabel, riding second-place finisher Financingavailable, struck his mount "on the right flank fold resulting in a cut and a welt."

* Apprentice jockey Tyler Pizarro, the leading rider at the meeting, was fined $200 and had to take off his mounts here Thursday after a breath sample showed a level of alchohol exceeding the allowed amount.

Jockeys and racing officials are required to take breathalyzer tests each day when reporting for work.

o The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will be holding its monthly meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. here Wednesday in the third-floor Champions area. New members and guests are welcome.