08/08/2002 12:00AM

Frayne had his own theories


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Karl Frayne, a trainer at Fort Erie for 20 years, died last Sunday following a heart attack.

Frayne, who was 64, had given up his vocation in June of last year after recovering from a similar attack. Justin Nixon took over his few remaining horses.

"We'll certainly miss him," said Nixon. "Karl was quiet but he always had a joke or a one-liner for everyone. When he won the trainers' title [in 1990] he was often asked how he accomplished it. His usual reply was 'I use Theo-rye-o-mine' [theory of mine]."

Frayne was first licensed in 1982 but didn't gain prominence until 1988 when he finished third in the local standings. One of his better years was in 1993, when he tied for second behind perennial leader Ralph Biamonte.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Frayne moved to Buffalo while in his late teens. He served as a paratrooper in the U.S. army and later spent 16 years as a railroad worker.

"He had a lot of unusual and interesting theories on training and racing," said Nixon.

Frayne was not fond of the use of the whip in racing, and often his jockey wouldn't carry a whip. He thought whipping could be a negative factor, especially if the horse was running full out on his own, and believed distress from whipping increased blood pressure and that bleeding could result.

Frayne also believed some riders were too fancy with the whip. He once explained that a two-hand hold on a horse - rather than one hand whipping and one hand on the reigns - inspired confidence.

"One hand is only half as good as two," he said. "If a shimmy starts at the front end, then the horse loses his confidence. Then the rider loses his confidence."

Probably the best runner that emerged from the Frayne barn was Hasty Lady, a winner of 18 of her 74 lifetime races, 12 of the wins for Frayne. She contributed an estimated $150,000 to his account. Frayne bought Hasty Lady privately in 1997 while she performed in the claiming ranks.

Comeback lasts two races

Terry Veltri, 46, who last rode in 1996, was issued a conditional jockey license recently. He returned to racing last Saturday here with two mounts.

Veltri's mount beat just one runner in the fourth race but Veltri narrowly missed winning the finale with Powerandauthority, a 51-1 longshot who finished second.

It wasn't a pretty performance. Veltri's license was lifted after his effort.

While in the lead in the stretch, and under constant strong right-handed whipping, Powerandauthority bounced off the rail. Veltri continued his urging, even though he appeared to have difficulty maintaining balance.

"He nearly put the horse through the rail," said Ed Hall, supervisor of racing for the Ontario Racing Commission. "He not only endangered himself but he was a danger to the other riders. I also witnessed the commotion coming back and his foul language."

Veltri was fined $500 for his verbal assault on a heckler.