10/10/2007 12:00AM

Drexler expects better with this year's stable

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Martin Drexler didn't make much of an impact when he shipped in to Woodbine following the conclusion of the Assiniboia Downs meeting last fall, going 0 for 14. But the 37-year-old Drexler is returning, and he is hot on the heels of a career-best Assiniboia meeting.

Drexler, whose primary client is the Shyman Stable of Stuart Hyman, topped the standings there in races won with 43 and in money won with $541,091 from 129 starters. His five stakes winners included Weather Warning in the $100,000 Manitoba Derby.

"I have more talented stock this year," Drexler said. "I'm just hoping I don't have to run these horses too far over their heads.

"They're all in good form, and we'll just have to find the right spots for them."

Drexler has 14 horses in Ontario for Hyman, with five horses here at the track and nine in waiting at Windfields Farm as of Wednesday.

"I'll have to get some of those in right away, before they start losing their fitness," Drexler said.

The ontrack troops include the Kentucky-bred 3-year-olds Great Discovery, First Cavalry, Barath, and Sharp Shooter, and the 2-year-old Air Pegasus.

Great Discovery, purchased privately in a package deal this summer, finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby in his first start for Drexler.

"I want to run him here on Polytrack," Drexler said, noting that Great Discovery won a first-level allowance over seven furlongs on Arlington's Polytrack surface prior to being sold.

First Cavalry began his career here last year with trainer Mike Keogh and won the Winnipeg Futurity in his first start for Drexler.

"He's had an okay year" said Drexler. "Tere just weren't enough spots for him to run."

First Cavalry won back-to-back allowance races at Assiniboia Downs in August.

Barak won the $30,000 Harry Jeffrey over 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 26 and Drexler is unsure where he will fit locally.

Sharp Shooter was pulled up shortly after the start of his last race on Sept. 2 but had finished second in back-to-back maiden races prior to that.

"If I can get a race into him, he might do okay," Drexler said. "I don't know if he's fit enough right now."

Air Pegasus is a maiden after six starts but has finished second on four occasions, including his latest appearance, in the Winnipeg Futurity.

"He's fit and ready to run," Drexler said.

Meanwhile, the Windfields Farm contingent includes Culpeper Moon, Weather Warning, Coast Line, Spillway, Empress Pegasus, and Local Legend.

Weather Warning, part of the package deal this summer, won the Manitoba Derby at 34-1 when stretching out from six furlongs, but then faltered to finish last of seven in the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

"I think he'll be a really good six-and-a-half to seven-furlong horse on Polytrack," Drexler said.

Culpeper Moon, a 6-year-old mare, is a familiar face here, having made seven starts for Keogh and three last fall for Drexler, including a second-place finish in the six-furlong Ontario Fashion. Her current campaign has been her best, as Culpeper Moon won the $45,000 Winnipeg Sun and finished second in the $100,000 City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands, with both races run over 1 1/16 miles.

In her last appearance, Culpeper Moon blew the break and finished second as the odds-on choice in the Sept. 22 Matron at Assiniboia Downs.

"I think she's a little better now than she was last year, as long as she holds her form," Drexler said.

Coast Line, a 6-year-old gelding who also was part of the private package, won Laurel's $122,000 John B. Campbell Handicap as a 4-year-old and was competitive in three stakes appearances at Assiniboia.

"He's not what he used to be, but he's an interesting horse," Drexler said.

Local Legend, a 4-year-old colt, won two allowance races at Assiniboia, but then finished ninth in the Gold Breeders' Cup.

"He's a really nice horse, potentially," Drexler said.

Spillway, a 3-year-old filly, was a stakes winner at Assiniboia Downs this year while Empress Pegasus, a 4-year-old filly, was stakes-placed.

Victory Romance drills for stakes

Victory Romance worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 under jockey Todd Kabel on the main track here Wednesday in preparation for the Oct. 20 Princess Elizabeth Stakes. The Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies, offers a purse of $250,000.

"She's in good order," trainer Josie Carroll said.

Victory Romance, an Alberta-bred, is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Mazarine, an open stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Carroll also has a candidate for this Sunday's Cup and Saucer in Mossbank, a 2-year-old gelding.

Mossbank, who won his maiden over seven furlongs here Sept. 27 in his fifth start, would be trying turf for the first time in the Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Lym joins BC selection panel

Steve Lym, Woodbine's racing secretary, has joined the Breeders' Cup selection committee.

Lym will be at Monmouth Park when pre-entries are announced Tuesday and will return there the following week for the draw and the balance of Breeders' Cup week.

* Jockey Constant Montpellier, who suffered a broken nose in a spill here Monday, is expected to be out of action for the week. He could return next Wednesday, said his agent, Gregg Broadhurst.