08/12/2004 12:00AM

Eyes on Inish Glora vs. Heyahohowdy


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Inish Glora and Heyahohowdy, the one-two finishers in last year's Victoriana, will go at it again in Saturday's renewal of the Victoriana.

A field of eight Ontario-sired fillies and mares will run in the Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that will offer a purse of $133,250. But the focus will be on the rivalry between Inish Glora and Heyahohowdy.

Inish Glora won the 2003 Victoriana by two lengths, but Heyahohowdy turned the tables three weeks later, prevailing by a neck in the Belle Geste over 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Both mares later ran in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race in which Inish Glora finished seventh and Heyahohowdy ninth.

Inish Glora went on to be voted the Sovereign Award as Canada's champion turf filly or mare, while Heyahohowdy failed to make the finals.

Heyahohowdy, a 5-year-old owned by Kelynack Racing Stable and trained by Abraham Katryan, could gain a measure of revenge here Saturday as she comes into this Victoriana under more favorable circumstances.

Last year, Heyahohowdy was making only her second start of the meeting in the Victoriana, after opening up with a fourth-place finish in the Zadracarta over six furlongs of turf five weeks earlier.

Heyahohowdy again ran her first race here this year in the Zadracarta, this time with a winning effort, and then ran second to Hour of Justice in the six-furlong turf prep for the Royal North.

While Hour of Justice went on the capture the Royal North impressively here Aug. 2, Heyahohowdy went in the one-mile turf prep for the Victoriana on July 30.

Sent off at 3-5 in that race under regular rider Emile Ramsammy, Heyahohowdy finished second behind First Quarter, beaten a length.

"That last race wasn't a very nice race," said Ramsammy. "She had a terrible trip; she got into a lot of traffic when it mattered most. She was trapped inside.

"I felt like she had the race won, but that other horse just got away. She was the best horse in the race."

Heyahohowdy came back to drill five furlongs in 57.80 seconds under Ramsammy on the turf training course here last Sunday, the fastest of 42 workouts at the distance.

"She's coming into this race really good," said Katryan. "This should be a peak performance for her."

Inish Glora also finished second, beaten a length, as the 3-5 choice last time out, her loss coming to Mona Rose in the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap over 1 1/8 miles of yielding turf.

Mac Benson, who trains Inish Glora for Bob Costigan, believes that weight and the soft turf compromised Inish Glora that day.

Inish Glora was the 122-pound highweight, whereas Mona Rose went off under 112 pounds.

"I think going a mile and an eighth 10 pounds makes quite a difference, especially on soft turf," said Benson. "I think she ran her race when you take those kind of things into consideration."

Inish Glora has continued to work well since the Victoriana and regular rider Todd Kabel will be in the irons.

Nashinda out with bad ankle

Nashinda, the talented 3-year-old filly whom Benson trains for owner-breeder George Strawbridge Jr., is through for the year.

"She has a severe bone bruise in her right front ankle," said Benson, who sent out Nashinda to win both her starts here at 2, including the five-furlong My Dear.

Nashinda opened up her 2004 campaign with a second-place finish in the six-furlong Star Shoot, then romped in a 1 1/16-mile second-level filly-mare allowance.

Nashinda would have been one of the favorites for the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks on June 13, but she came back from a routine gallop with a bruised right front foot on the day before entries for the Oaks were taken, and did not return to training until the end of June.

In her only subsequent start, which came in the Ontario Damsel over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf here July 10, Nashinda finished last of five as the 3-5 choice.

Clark expects Wednesday return

David Clark, who rode Nashinda in her first four starts, has been sidelined since mid-June after suffering a fractured wrist during a training accident but plans to return to action Wednesday night.

Clark has been getting on horses in the mornings here since last weekend.

Despite his absence, Clark still was in the top 10 in the Woodbine standings, tied for ninth with 28 wins going into Thursday's program.

Judiths Wild Rush running in Philly

Dino Luciani will be at Philadelphia Park on Saturday to ride Judiths Wild Rush in the $100,000 Larry R. Riviello President's Cup, a mile and 70-yard race for 3-year-olds.

A Kentucky-bred colt who is owned by Harvey Tenenbaum and trained here by Scott Fairlie, Judiths Wild Rush won the Grade 3 Marine over 1 1/16 miles in his first start here this year, on May 22.

But Judiths Wild Rush, who was Canada's champion male 2-year-old last year, tired to finish sixth when making his next and last start in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park here June 13.

Lower claimers coming

Woodbine will be offering $10,000 claiming races effective Sept. 8 and $8,000 races as of Sept. 22.

The drop in the bottom claiming prices, which currently are $12,500 for winners and $16,000 for maidens, coincides with the end of the Fort Erie meeting.

Fort Erie is closing following its Labor Day program, Sept. 6, in order to accommodate a complete resurfacing of the main track.

* The turf training course has been closed. The tentative reopening date is Aug. 29.