08/03/2008 11:00PM

England has new partner in success


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Debbie England and jockey Richard Dos Ramos go back a long way, with their stakes history dating to 1989, when Diva's Debut gave the trainer her first stakes victory at the Meadowlands.

England and owner/breeder Gustav Schickedanz have only a very recent association, with their only runner being Marlang.

But the long and the short of it is that England, Dos Ramos, and Schickedanz were celebrating in the stakes winner's circle here Sunday after Marlang's powerful front-running performance in the $500,000 Breeders', the 1 1/2-mile turf race that was the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

"He looks perfect," said England here Monday morning. "He's in great shape. I think he had a good time yesterday."

Marlang had won the Charlie Barley at one mile on turf here June 21 but had weakened to finish third as the favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Toronto Cup on July 13.

England and Dos Ramos both had cited the soft turf rather than the distance as the reason for Marlang's disappointing effort that day, and considering the way the colt ran in the Breeders', their opinions were well-founded.

"I thought if he could get out there and relax, he could go the mile and a half," said England. "Once I saw the half in 50, I could see he was relaxed. I didn't start screaming until the eighth pole, when I saw him lengthen his stride.

"I think he's a very talented horse. He does things easily. He's a horse with lots of speed that can go long."

Several choices for next stop

England isn't sure of her next move with Marlang, who would have to go on the road or face older horses in search of turf stakes opportunities.

"I'd rather not change his routine by taking him out of town," said England. "He's a nervous horse. It's hard to keep him settled here."

Another local option would be a return to Polytrack, as Marlang was a very impressive seven-furlong maiden winner over that surface here in his season debut.

"I think he's better on grass, but I wouldn't be afraid to run him on Polytrack," said England. "He ran great when he broke his maiden, and in his last race on Poly, at a mile and an eighth, he was full of mucus when he came back. You can probably throw that race out."

Marlang had finished sixth in that first-level allowance on May 24 in a race that effectively knocked him off the Queen's Plate trail.

Husband in on the act

The England/Dos Ramos connection extends to trainer Phil England, Debbie's husband, who has given Dos Ramos a leg up for the two biggest wins of his career.

Those successes came with Thornfield in the $2 million Canadian International in 1999 and with Benburb in the Molson Export Million in 1992 during the days when Phil England was the private trainer for Knob Hill Stable.

The unprepossessing Phil England has only four horses these days, and once he has fulfilled those obligations, he is a familiar sight on the backstretch as he bicycles over to assist Debbie, where his duties have included galloping Marlang.

"I love getting on him; he's a grand horse to ride," said England. "But, I do what I'm told. Nothing but."

Wide run for Sligovitz

Sligovitz, making his stakes debut in the Breeders', veered out sharply with a furlong to run and rallied on the outside portion of the track under jockey Chantal Sutherland for a second-place finish.

"He ducked out pretty good, when she hit him with her left hand, and lost his momentum," said Brian Lynch, who trains Sligovitz for Stronach Stable. "I don't know if he would have beat Debbie's horse, but he might have made it close. I was happy with the race the horse ran. I had him in the right spot.

"I'm just hoping he keeps developing, the way he's been going."

Kabel cuts season off early

Sligovitz had been slated to be ridden by Todd Kabel, who had piloted the colt to victory in a first-level allowance win that was his final prep for the Breeders'. But Kabel had called his agent, John Bell, on Saturday morning and informed him that he was packing it up for the season because of weight problems.

Kabel had cut short his 2007 campaign with three weeks left to race and did not return to action until June 27.

From 53 mounts at the current meeting, Kabel had compiled a record of 4-5-6 from 53 mounts for earnings of $266,577.

Kabel, 42, has amassed 3,168 career wins and seven Sovereign Awards.

Cawaja Beach looking perfect

Cawaja Beach has done everything asked of her thus far, without being seriously tested.

On Sunday, Cawaja Beach ran her record to 3 for 3 with a three-quarter-length score under regular rider Daniel David in the $125,400 Nandi.

"I think she was very professional again," said Scott Fairlie, who trains Cawaja Beach and also is her co-owner and breeder in partnership with his father, Robert Fairlie, and the Hard Eight Stable headed by Dave Succamore.

"She did what she had to do, and I think she had a little bit more left. Last time, she won a little easier."

Cawaja Beach, who had graduated at first asking at 4 1/2 furlongs here June 14, became a stakes winner four weeks later in the Nandi, a 5 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

And while Cawaja Beach is nominated to the $150,000 Ontario Debutante, an open six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies here Aug. 16, she will not be participating.

"We'll give her a little break now," said Fairlie, noting that the $125,000 Victorian Queen, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 1, was a long-term target.

Another invader strikes in Royal North

Shippers have fared well in past runnings of the Royal North, and Akronism continued that trend in last Saturday's $163,400 edition of the six-furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares.

Based at Delaware with trainer Tim Ritchey, Akronism had been entered in last Friday's Honorable Miss at Saratoga but opted out of that event and was a convincing winner here under jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva.

The stakes win was the eighth here this year for da Silva, who is the leader in that category and already has surpassed last year's total of six stakes scores with more than half the meeting remaining.