10/03/2002 12:00AM

Full Scream Ahead pays off ex-cops

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - John Edwards spent 34 years as a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, and the investigative techniques he learned on the job have served him well as an owner of racehorses, particularly when it comes to claiming them. Along with his wife, Dawn, John Maloney, Mark and Lionel Lesage, and Grant MacDonald, Edwards is part of Aurora Stables. One of their most successful claims, Full Scream Ahead, figures to be one of the favorites in the Grade 3 $175,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup on Sunday.

They claimed Full Scream Ahead for $25,000 in July 2001, and since then she has won five races, three of them stakes. She scored an impressive three-length win over Catahoula Rose in the Delta Colleen on Sept, 22 and, according to her trainer, Terry Marshall, is coming into the Ballerina "in excellent shape."

Edwards retired from the police force in 1991 and had been the security guard at the entrance to the Hastings paddock for the last six years before taking a leave of absence midway through this season. He wasn't really planning on owning horses until his wife recommended the idea. "Dawn thought that since I really enjoyed being at the track that I should get more involved," said Edwards. "I was playing in a golf tournament with Mark [Lesage] and he was claiming a horse that night. He asked me if I wanted to go in with him, and the rest is history."

Although Full Scream Ahead is its first stakes winner, she is not Aurora Stables's most successful claim. The members of Aurora claimed Santano for $20,000, and he went on to win over $163,000 for them, most of it in California, where he was a very good sprinter on the turf. "We've been very lucky," said Edwards. "One of our first horses was Winitall. We took him for $20,000 and he won three in a row before we lost him for $50,000."

MacDonald is also an ex-cop who came to work in the security department at Hastings when he retired. He had been partnered with Edwards in the narcotics division, and Edwards was happy to get him involved in Aurora Stables.

"We worked really well together. and it just seemed like the obvious thing to do," Edwards said.

Edwards gives most of the credit to Lesage for their success. "It was his idea to form the stable from the beginning, and of course Terry Marshall has had a lot to do with everything that's happened," he said.

Marshall also likes his chances in the Ballerina with Grace for You, who is coming off of a third place finish in the B.C. Oaks. "She bled, and that's probably why she wasn't as tough as usual down the lane," Marshalls said. "She worked a very good five furlongs last Friday and didn't bleed. She should run a big race on Sunday."

Grace For You's time of 59.60 seconds was three seconds faster than any other work that day.

Rematch in Premiere's

Both Lord Nelson and Futural, first and second finishers in last Sunday's Sir Winston Churchill Stakes, came out of the race in excellent shape and are headed to the $100,000 Premier's on Oct. 20.

"It's the best that Futural has come out of any race since we claimed him," said his trainer, Steve Bryant. "He finished first in the Hollywood Gold Cup going a mile and a quarter, so we know he won't mind going 11 furlongs in the Premier's."

Dino Condilenios, trainer of Lord Nelson, was also confident about the Premier's. He said that jockey Frank Fuentes "said he had a lot of horse left at the finish and he just did what he had to do to win."

Lord Nelson finished second to Fancy As in last year's Premier's, and since it looked like Futural was getting to him at the end of the nine-furlong Churchill, the rematch in the Premier's should be very interesting. B.C. Derby winner Cruising Kat is also expected to be in the field along with fourth-place finisher Shacane.