12/04/2007 12:00AM

Delmas comes long way in short time

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Analisa Delmas, who is in just her second season as a trainer here at Woodbine, has yet to become accustomed to the spotlight.

But that is about to change as Delmas, who is winding up an impressive campaign, plans to be represented in both the Sir Barton and Valedictory on this closing weekend of the Woodbine meeting.

Cobotown Ron, who finished sixth when making his stakes debut in the Grade 3, 1o1/16-mile Autumn, should be well supported in Saturday's $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Near Noise, who is coming off a near-miss in a restricted 1 1/4-mile second-level allowance race, could be a live longshot in Sunday's $125,000 Valedictory, a 1 3/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Both Cobotown Ron and Near Noise are 3-year-old geldings by the Ontario sire Compadre and race for the Fieldstone Farm headed by Ron Delmas.

Analisa Delmas, 36, is the daughter of Ron Delmas and is no stranger to the racing business despite being a relative newcomer to the racetrack itself.

"I used to get on them, leg them up on the farm," said Delmas. "I've always been involved with the breeding and breaking of foals."

Delmas, however, was working in the family's door manufacturing business when opportunity knocked in an unfortunate manner here.

Jake Nemett, the veteran trainer who was enjoying a successful 2005 campaign for Fieldstone and others, suffered a stroke late in the season and was replaced on an interim basis by Hugo Taft.

"Training been hadn't something I'd ever thought of before," said Delmas.

But when Ron Delmas asked his daughter to take over the reins, she agreed.

And, after fashioning a record of 7-7-14 for earnings of $373,072 (U.S.) in her 100-start rookie meeting here last year, Delmas has improved significantly on those numbers in 2007.

Heading into the final week of the meeting, Delmas had 13 wins, 11 seconds, and 15 thirds for earnings of $488,860 (U.S.)

"This year has been fantastic," said Delmas. "It's been a whirlwind for us."

A good chunk of the outfit's success has come courtesy of Cobotown Ron, who registered five wins and lost another via disqualification while earning more than $100,000.

Cobotown Ron's achievements have been magnified by the fact that he started the season at the $10,000 level and scored his latest win under second-level allowance terms.

"He's been a wonderful surprise for us," said Delmas. "He has the competitive spirit; he loves to run."

Cobotown Run also has handled the transition from sprinting to two-turn races without missing a beat.

"When he turns for home, he knows what he's got to do," said Delmas. "It's a thrill to watch him come down the lane."

And, while Cobotown Ron's late run was neutralized when he faced the top older horses on the grounds in the Autumn, he did end just 1o1/4 lengths behind fifth-place Arch Hall, who looms the probable favorite in the Sir Barton.

"I figured that with him being at the top of his game, we'd give him a try [in the Autumn] and see what he was all about," said Delmas. "He didn't disappoint. He was in about as tough as he could be."

Near Noise is slated to face the toughest test of his brief career in the Valedictory, making just his seventh lifetime start and fourth of the campaign.

"He showed us a little bit at the end of last year, and his breeding showed that he'd like a distance," said Delmas. "But, he had some issues at the beginning of this year. We just had to take our time with him, and it seems to have paid off."

Emma-Jayne Wilson is scheduled to ride both Cobotown Ron and Near Noise.

Drexler stocks up for winter

Trainer Martin Drexler, who topped the Assiniboia Downs standings with 43 winners this year, had his first winner at Woodbine last Saturday when Etain captured the 10th race.

Drexler had sent out 14 starters in his first working visit here last fall, and Etain was his 13th of this meeting.

Etain, an Ontario-sired 4-year-old filly who was a recent purchase from owner-trainer Catherine Day Phillips, was making her first start for Drexler and was claimed by Paul Attard on behalf of Love 2 Win Stable.

Drexler will not be going home without some fresh stock, however, as he also bought Thompson Lake, Turn It Up, Most Majestic, and Splash of Rum from the Day Phillips outfit and claimed Rage Till Dawn and Tenacious Bear.

Thompson Lake, a 3-year-old gelding, finished ninth when making his first start for Drexler at the $10,000 claiming level here last week.

Turn It Up, a maiden 3-year-old filly, was fourth when making her first appearance with a claiming price in a $40,000 maiden race here Nov. 10.

Most Majestic, an Ontario-sired 4-year-old gelding, ran seventh when debuting in a maiden race here Aug. 1, while Splash of Rum, an Ontario-sired 4-year-old filly, has yet to start.

Rage Till Dawn, who had finished second to the Drexler-trained Weather Warning in this year's Manitoba Derby, was claimed for $12,500 from a second-place finish here Nov. 15.

Tenacious Bear, claimed for $10,000 here Nov. 17, finished seventh as the favorite in that 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward and has been entered in a $16,000 claiming race for straight 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Friday.

Drexler also will be represented in Thursday's second race when the 3-year-old colt Big Chief makes his local debut in a $25,000 claiming race at six furlongs.

Big Chief, purchased privately this past summer, was well beaten in both the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby and 1 1/8-mile Harry Jeffrey in his two starts in Winnipeg.

"I almost wasn't going to run him here," said Drexler. "He had some issues, obviously - he ran two disastrous races there. This is kind of a spot to see where we're at."