08/25/2003 11:00PM

Dickinson duo first arrivals for Niagara


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A host of invaders are expected for Saturday’s Niagara Handicap, a 1 1/2-mile turf race with Grade 2 status and a $300,000 purse.

The most recognizable runner is Cetewayo, a 9-year-old horse who is a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner of $1,113,917. His career began in 1996, but he has made just 31 starts.

Cetewayo and his stablemate Bowman Mill were the first of the shippers to arrive at Woodbine. Both are owned by Dr. John Chandler and trained by Michael Dickinson.

Bowman Mill, a 5-year-old, has made just seven starts, with three wins and two second-place stakes finishes.

The Niagara will mark the second local appearance for Cetewayo, who was second by three-quarters of a length to Strut the Stage here in last fall’s Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf race.

Strut the Stage, coming off a solid win here in the July 19 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes at 1 3/8 miles on turf, will be the 123-pound highweight and the horse to beat in the Niagara.

Cetewayo gets in with 118 pounds and Bowman Mill is weighted at 111 pounds.

Kabel sitting on big weekend

Todd Kabel, who rides Strut the Stage for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad, could add significantly to his meet-leading total of 20 stakes wins over the long weekend.

Sunday, Kabel will ride Whiletheiron’shot for Sam-Son and Frostad in the $125,000 Seaway, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Whiletheiron’shot, a lightly raced 4-year-old, returned from a layoff of almost 10 months to score impressively under third-level allowance conditions here Aug. 3 at the Seaway distance.

But Kabel’s really big day could be Monday, when six $125,000 yearling sales stakes races will be featured.

As of Tuesday, Kabel was slated to ride the solid favorites in three of the races: Phantom Light, in the Elgin; Winning Chance, in the 1 1/16-mile Algoma for fillies and mares; and Mobil, in the Halton, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Kabel also is booked for both 2-year-old races, with recent winner Chemistry Class his mount in the Simcoe and stakes-placed Boozin Blonde his Muskoka hopeful.

And, Kabel also could pick up a live mount in the Kenora if trainer Bob Tiller opts to go in that direction with Forever Grand, who will start either in the Kenora or the Elgin.

Forever Grand was an impressive winner of last Saturday’s 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton under Patrick Husbands, who is scheduled to ride leading Kenora candidate Rare Friends for Tiller and his partner, Frank DiGiulio.

Hall of Fame ceremony Thursday

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will hold its 2003 induction ceremony Thursday evening, at the nearby Toronto Congress Centre.

This year’s Thoroughbred inductees are Carotene and He’s a Smoothie, trainer Roy Johnson, and the late owner-breeder Frank Selke Jr., who all were elected by the Hall of Fame voters.

The late Jim Proudfoot, a longtime local journalist, will be inducted in the veteran’s category.

Chris McCarron, a Hall of Fame jockey south of the border who currently is an executive at Santa Anita, will be the guest speaker at Thursday’s gathering.

Numerous Times questionable for Atto

Numerous Times, winless in six starts since winning the 2001 Atto Mile, is a question mark for this year’s Sept. 14 renewal of the $1 million, Grade 1 turf race.

Numerous Times looked to be coming up to a peak effort here in the Aug. 16 Play the King but finished a non-threatening fifth in the field of six.

“We were very disappointed with his last race,” said Sid Attard, who trains Numerous Times. “He went into the race really good, but he never ran an inch. It’s the worst race he’s ever run in his life.”

Attard plans to discuss Numerous Times’s future with the horse’s owners in the near future.

Attard celebrated the end of another drought here last Saturday as Ginger Gold won for the first time since last year’s June 8 Labatt Woodbine Oaks.

Ginger Gold made two more starts in 2002 before being sidelined by an ankle injury which required surgery. She had been a disappointment in three of her four appearances this year, the exception a second-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron here June 7.

In her outing prior to Saturday, the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here Aug. 2, Ginger Gold led into the stretch as the 4-5 choice but faltered badly in the latter stages to finish fourth, beaten 6 1/4 lengths.

“In her last race, she just couldn’t handle that mud,” Attard said. “She likes a hard track, whether it’s dirt or turf.”

Ginger Gold’s recent success came on firm turf, when she led throughout the 1 1/16-mile prep for the Sept. 14 Canadian Handicap, which is her next target.

The Grade 2 Canadian, worth $300,000, is a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

* Jockey Chantal Sutherland will be serving a three-day suspension, Thursday through Saturday, after withdrawing her appeal of an earlier ruling.