08/06/2001 12:00AM

Fort Erie: Golden Returns a winner


The house horse delivered in the stakes Monday at Fort Erie, in Fort Erie, Ontario, as Golden Returns, owned by Victor and Rosanne Deschenes, won the $54,900 Expedite Plus by 2 1/4 lengths.

Deschenes, proprietor of the courier company Expedite Plus, sponsored the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Balancethebudget broke like a bullet, with Golden Returns - who had started just inside that one in post 1 - angling out to assume a stalking position in second place.

"He broke a little flat-footed," said Ray Sabourin, who was riding Golden Returns to his first stakes victory. "I got to the outside, and got a great trip from there."

Tempered Appeal, the odds-on favorite due to his last-out score in Woodbine's Bold Venture, was well-placed off the leaders but had to settle for second after Golden Returns put away Balancethebudget around the final turn and opened up heading into the lane.

Golden Return returned $13.10 as the third choice, with Doug's Legacy rallying to finish another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Balancethebudget was fourth, completing a sweep of the top four spots for Woodbine invaders.

Rebuffed and Starlight Dancer rounded out the order of finish.

Golden Returns was timed in 1:10.39. The race was also the first stakes win for trainer Robert Martin.