09/02/2004 11:00PM

Debut points out Chasing the Fox


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Five runners, all of them maidens, make up the field for the $75,000 Juvenile Stakes here Sunday.

The six-furlong race is restricted to 2-year-old colts and geldings who were offered for sale at last year's open yearling sale or mixed sale at Woodbine.

Unless the three first-time starters in the race possess some talent, it appears that Chasing the Fox will be in for a walk in the park.

Chasing the Fox has had but one start, finishing third in a $50,000 claimer at Woodbine Aug. 4. His losing margin in the 6 1/2-furlong race was 2 3/4 lengths. The effort earned Chasing the Fox a Beyer Speed Figure of 68.

"He wasn't really cranked up to go that far," said Dave Cotey, co-owner and trainer of Chasing the Fox. Because of muddy tracks "he had only one five-furlong work before the start. He should have had two or three."

The only other runner in the contest to have raced is Highland Warrior. His best Beyer from his four starts is a 59.

Chasing the Fox is from the same barn as Moonshine Justice, who has won two of his three starts at Woodbine, both of them stakes - the $158,000 Clarendon and the $164,000 Vandal. Cotey is unsure which is the better runner.

"Chasing the Fox is a good-looking, long-striding horse," said Cotey. "He has worked better than Moonshine Justice most times. And when he ran before, he galloped out extremely strong that day."

Field of 11 for marathon

An interesting race on Sunday's card is a starter-allowance marathon of two miles and 70 yards - the longest distance carded in Ontario.

Eleven horses have been entered in the race, which has a purse of $25,000. To be eligible, a horse must have started at the $14,000 claiming level or lower in the past two years.

Last year's starter-allowance marathon drew just six runners and was won by Shards of Silver. In 2002 the race was captured by Ace of Suedes, in a photo finish over Gist of Art.

Gist of Art, now 7, has been entered in Sunday's race.

Miss Filibuster headed to Ireland

Trainer Paul Nielsen saddled Miss Filibuster to win a nonwinners-of-three allowance race here Tuesday. It was the third win in 10 starts for the 4-year-old filly, who is owned by Bill Scott.

It also might have been the final race for Miss Filibuster, who is a half-sister to Le Cinquieme Essai, the 2002 champion male 3-year-old of Canada.

"Bill is shipping her to Ireland in October," said Nielsen. "He has relations over there in the horse industry. She will be bred."

County finishes strong

Trainer Pat County Jr., who scored with Band of Gold ($28.30) here Tuesday, described his season as a dream.

"At first everything went wrong and now everything is starting to go right," said the 29-year-old County, who is in his seventh full year of training.

In mid-July, County had but two wins from 19 starts at the meet. The win on Tuesday was his ninth at this meeting, and his win percentage has now reached 22.