07/02/2003 11:00PM

David refuses to let weight stop him


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Daniel David's on-again off-again riding career is once again flourishing, even though he can ride at no less than 118 pounds.

David, 39, scored with longshot Prospective Gal ($25.90) on Tuesday for his 16th win of the year, matching his output during an abbreviated 2002 campaign. The win put him in eighth place in the Fort Erie jockey standings.

Diabetes had been a factor in David's ongoing battle to maintain reasonable riding weight. He said he has had the disease under control in recent years. David now cites advancing age and his physical makeup as the enemy.

"I've always fought weight but the struggle gets tougher every year," said David, a nephew of Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte. "I'm five-nothing, wide, and thick. But winning races makes the struggle easier. Maybe summer heat will melt some pounds."

High-profile trainer Ralph Biamonte, whose operation is split between Woodbine and Fort Erie, is a big booster of David

"[David] is worth the three or four pounds [overweight]," said Biamonte, who has been winning at a 30 percent clip here. "What I like about him, is when your horses come back, they are not spent. The next day they feel good. He does not beat up on them. He uses his hands."

Biamonte said David works horses for him at Fort Erie, and also drives the 180-mile round trip between the Fort and Toronto to work horses for him at Woodbine.

"I've never seen him work so hard and ride so confidently," Biamonte said.

Tuesday's win was No. 838 lifetime for David, a Montreal native who has experienced the majority of his success at Woodbine after launching his career there in 1985.

David was the leading apprentice in Ontario that year. He arrived at Woodbine from Picov Downs, which runs Quarter Horses, bringing with him the reputation of being one of the best gate riders around. He won 11 of 12 stakes in which he rode at Picov.

Brother knows best

Daryl Ezra won a $25,000 claimer on the Canada Day card with Prospective Doll, but he admits that if he had had his way, he wouldn't have entered her in that spot.

Instead, he would have gone into the Hindmarsh, a $75,000 stakes here two days earlier. Prospective Doll was nominated for the restricted race, which drew only four contestants. Fifth-place money was $3,000.

Thanks to the insistence of his brother, Maury, who is a co-owner of Prospective Gal, Ezra saddled Prospective Gal to a $15,300 payday, much more than could have been expected in the stakes.

Board overturns stewards' decision

The Ontario Thoroughbred Racing Industry Board of Appeal has ruled in favor of owner-trainer Wilf Jones, who appealed the stewards' decision not to disqualify Alyswell, the winner of the third race May 6 at the Fort.

Jones's runner, Malcoha, who finished second, was bumped nearing the finish line by Alyswell.

"The board agrees that when Chantal Sutherland switches from left- to right-handed whipping, her horse ducks in and interferes with Malcoha," said the ruling.