07/07/2004 11:00PM

Dancewithavixen has question


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It has been over a year since a local filly or mare has finished in front of Dancewithavixen at Hastings. Yes, she did finish second to Alberta-based Raylene in the Grade 3 British Columbia Oaks last year, but immediately avenged that defeat with a win over Raylene and the best females in the province in the Grade 3 Ballerina. She won the first two stakes races in her division this year and then finished third to Hastings' top older horse, Lord Nelson, in the 6 1/2-furlong Hong Kong Jockey Club and then second to 2003 local horse of the year Roscoe Pito in the 1 1/16-mile John Longden.

Dancewithavixen has been entered to run in the Senate Appointee Stakes on Sunday, and considering she is back running with her own sex, she figures to be a very short price. You might want to think twice, though, about wagering heavily on what looks like a sure thing - Dancewithavixen could be vulnerable.

According to her owner and trainer, Tom Longstaff, Dancewithavixen is not coming into the Senate Appointee in tip-top condition. Not that she needed an excuse for finishing second to a very good Roscoe Pito on June 12, but Longstaff says he thinks Dancewithavixen might have been a bit under the weather going into the race.

"She seemed a bit off the next day, and so we took her temperature and it was very high at 103," he said. "We followed that up with a blood test, and her white count was way out of whack."

Longstaff said the normal white blood count for a horse is usually between four and 10. Dancewithavixen came in with a 14, and after treating her for a week it was down to 12.9.

"Our vet, Ed Wiebe, said that she was still very sick and that she was probably sick going into the race," said Longstaff. "So we backed off on the medication and sent her home just to let her take it easy and eat some grass. It seemed to do the trick as her blood count was back to normal when we tested her again a week later."

Dancewithavixen missed three weeks of training, and although she should be plenty fit coming off her race to Roscoe Pito, she is going to be facing stiff competition from an improved Victor's Secret and newcomer Hancelina, a restricted stakes winner in New York. Longstaff said he wasn't sure if Dancewithavixen was going to run Sunday, but after she worked a strong half-mile Thursday with exercise rider Cheryl Fruno aboard, he entered her.

"Cheryl said that she went awesome," he said. "Still, we're looking at this as more of a prep for the B.C. Cup Distaff than anything else."

The B.C. Cup Distaff is one of seven stake races scheduled for B.C. Cup Day, Aug. 2.

Dancewithavictor injury not serious

Longstaff also said that Dancewithavictor, who won his fourth race at the meet last weekend, came out of his race with an abscess in one of his feet.

"It's nothing serious and hopefully it won't stop him from running in the B.C. Cup Sprint," he said.

Considering how poorly Commodore Craig and Bold 'n Keen ran in an allowance last Sunday, Dancewithavictor could be the favorite in the Sprint if his foot heals in time.

Shelby Madison retired

Shelby Madison, last year's older filly and mare champ, has been retired. According to her trainer, Toni Jacobson Cloutier, Shelby Madison tore a suspensory when she worked a half-mile June 29.

"It's not that serious of an injury, and with time it's something that she could come back from," Cloutier said. "But she would probably have to run a little cheaper, and we don't want to do that."

Shelby Madison was bred and is owned by Roy and Dixie Jacobson.

"It's not too late to breed her this year, but I think it would be better for her to wind down completely and then just take it easy for the rest of year," said Dixie Jacobson. "We're thinking of breeding her to Vying Victor, but obviously we have plenty of time to make up our minds."