08/31/2007 12:00AM

Giliforte and Ross try Presque Isle


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Fort Erie trainers are known to ship south of the border now and then, with Finger Lakes in New York and Thistledown in Cleveland being their usual destinations.

But a new kid on the block - Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa. - was scheduled to open on Saturday for a September meet and a couple of local trainers are looking to share in some of the hefty purses offered there.

Layne Giliforte and Brian Ross both had runners entered for Saturday's opening-day card.

Ross, who will retain a 12-horse stable at Fort Erie, sent a few runners to Presque Isle because he is intent on getting his foot in the door early and hoping the move will provide him with stalls next year and beyond.

Ross entered the 3-year-old filly Lottacosta in the opening-day $100,000 Inaugural Stakes.

Giliforte entered Sugarcoat in a $10,000 claiming race on Saturday.

"There are a number of high claiming races in the condition book and I will have some horses coming from New York and Toronto for different owners and trainers," Ross said.

"Hopefully, we can be productive with our runners throughout the month."

rainer-jockey angle

An interesting statistic that often overlooked handicappers is the trainer-jockey combinations.

Here at the Fort, Nick Gonzalez and Chad Beckon are sitting atop the trainer-jockey combination standings with 12 wins in 25 starts and return on investment of $3.85 for every $1 wagered.

Beckon has teamed with trainer Don MacRae 17 times, and that partnership has won 7 times and has a lofty ROI of $5.31.

Lynne Simon has had Daniel David ride six runners, and five of them won, for an ROI of $7.18.

On the trainer-owner side of things, Mark Fournier, the Fort's leading trainer, and owner Bruno Schickedanz are winning at the 30 percent clip with 24 winners from 80 starters.

Scott Fairlie and owner Richard Englander have taken home their share of the purses offered here with 7 wins in 18 starts.