07/14/2004 11:00PM

Even the trainer was stunned


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Trainer Robert Williams surprised everyone when his Domascas Consort ($12.30) defeated 1-20 favorite Forever Grand in the three-horse, $75,000 H.J. Addison Jr. Stakes last Sunday - even himself.

Williams, who had never won a stakes before, had his eyes glued on Nowyouseeit, the third runner in the field, who trailed throughout.

"I was hoping to get second money," said Williams. "It was $15,000, twice as much as for third. I figured Forever Grand was unbeatable. Turning into the stretch I was excited that Nowyouseeit wasn't going to get us. By keeping my eye on him I almost missed seeing my horse win. I couldn't believe it."

The win was Williams's third of the year. That matched his total of the past two years.

Two days later, Williams again surprised. He had back-to-back winners - Kirlan ($21.10) and Bermuda Triangle ($13.90). He now has five wins from 20 starts.

Williams, 44, got into the racing game as a teenager. He had earlier aspirations to become a pro hockey player but soon realized that his small stature would be a stumbling block. He aimed at being a jockey.

Williams hooked up with trainer John Tammaro but wasn't able to get his weight down to a riding level. He toiled as an exercise rider and prepared for a career as a trainer.

Williams later assisted Mike Tammaro at Woodbine and often ran the stable's lesser stock at Fort Erie. Williams also spent five years as an assistant to Bruce Pollock.

The next race for Domascas Consort is the $40,000 Civic Holiday, an in-house stakes restricted to runners with three 2004 starts at the Fort.

MacRae has eye on Charles Town

The Williams-trained Bermuda Triangle became the first runner to capture a two-furlong race here that didn't come out of the barn of Don MacRae.

Storming on Merit, a MacRae horse, has won all three 2004 dashes for fillies and mares. She won on Monday for her ninth consecutive score.

Her barnmate Pembroke Hall wasn't in the Tuesday dash for male runners. He was resting following his score at Calder's Summit of Speed in the $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes. It was the 10th straight win for the 7-year-old Pembroke Hall, who won two of the ultra-short sprints here this year.

MacRae claimed 3-year-old filly Value of Luck from Monday's dash for $14,000. She finished fourth in the race. In her previous start, she lost a nose decision to Storming on Merit.

"We're looking at Charles Town for her," said MacRae. "She has a lot of conditions. We'll send her down there after this meet ends."

MacRae is also considering shipping to Charles Town for Pembroke Hall's next start. The race he is thinking about is at 4 1/2 furlongs for $20,000 claimers.

Roche recovers quickly

Apprentice rider Jennie Roche has been named to ride six runners on Saturday. She suffered facial injuries on Monday when her mount collapsed after passing the wire.

"She had some oral surgery but it wasn't as serious as we first thought," said Mike Barkowski, who is the leading owner here and has been a big backer of Roche. He has her on three of his runners Saturday.

Roche scored three wins last Sunday, her first hat trick.