10/25/2005 11:00PM

Giliforte branching out his operation

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FORT ERIE, Ontario - Layne Giliforte, who has been training for 12 years, was Fort Erie's leading trainer for six consecutive years, from 1998 to 2003.

He's also the owner of a few horses, and he races, fittingly, as the Startin Small Racing Stable. On Monday, Giliforte won with a first-time starter he owns and trains.

That winner's name is First Time Byar, a daughter of Byars. She was bred by the late John Franks, who died on New Year's Eve, 2003. Franks was Giliforte's chief client.

"I bought her a couple of weeks after Mr. Franks passed away," said Giliforte. "It was the first filly I ever bought out of a sale. That's where the name came from. I have bought other Franks horses since - broodmares and such - for sentimental reasons."

Giliforte, 37, has been operating a split operation between Woodbine and Fort Erie lately. He is now eyeing American tracks.

"I would like to venture out and get better and bigger and do more," said Giliforte, who holds the Fort Erie all-time record for most wins in a meet (79). "I want to go with the better horses. I don't want my career to become stagnant."

Giliforte is looking forward to next year when his first two yearlings come into play.

"We've been into breeding," he said. "We're trying to build up quality and head into other levels before it's too late."

For the winter, Giliforte wasn't able to land stalls at Philadelphia Park with a string of runners he has for Eugene Melnyk. He may end up with them at either Laurel in Maryland or Aqueduct in New York. He is also trying for 6 to 10 stalls at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.

Tuftsville's a talent

Owner-trainer Dick Jukosky, sensing big-time talent in Tuftsville, sent the 2-year-old to Woodbine on Sunday for his debut in a maiden special weight.

A gelded son of Alydeed, Tuftsville responded with a come-from-behind victory in the mile and 70-yard race, and galloped out strongly. Next on the agenda for Tuftsville, who paid $40.50 to win, is the $250,000, 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity Nov. 6

"The distance will be good for him," said Jukosky. "He's been going since March. Every time I was ready to race him something happened."

Jukosky picked up Tuftsville from last year's September yearling sale for $3,500. The consigner was Jukosky's brother, Brian. The winner's share of the Sunday purse was $39,600.

Jockey Daniel David said Tuftsville was very professional.

"He just did everything like he has been doing it all his life," said David. "It really felt like it was his 10th start, not his first."

Jukosky thinks Tuftsville might be even better on the grass.

"If there had been a race for 'Tuffy' before the Cup and Saucer I would have gone on into it," said Jukosky, who is happy to have a second earner in his tiny stable to go with Lenny the Lender.