05/07/2002 11:00PM

Gonetofarr turns out to be a great buy


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It was a long time coming but owner George Farr now has plenty to celebrate after Gonetofarr, trained by Reade Baker, gave him his first stakes win at Woodbine in last Sunday's Fury.

And while the winner's share of $98,100 was nice enough in its own right, Farr can dream of an even bigger payday in the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies here June 8.

"She's a really nice filly," said Farr, who had watched Gonetofarr finish third in the Princess Elizabeth and second in the Ontario Lassie here last year. "It keeps you going; you need that in this business."

Farr, who describes himself as "semi-retired," sold his business in nearby Brampton in 1988. It didn't take long for him to follow the lead of his father, Bill Farr, and an uncle, Wilfred J. Farr, both of whom were longtime owners on the Ontario circuit.

George Farr has taken his involvement a step farther, with racing becoming his business. He bought into Huntington Stud Farm in July 1998 and has dabbled in the bloodstock market in recent years.

While he had his share of winners as an owner and campaigned several stakes-placed horses, including Winning Spurs and Decoratedwithonour, Gonetofarr is by far his most exciting prospect.

Farr was the underbidder on the filly here at the 2000 select yearling sale, where she went to trainer Kathy Patton for $55,000, but immediately regretted his lack of temerity and negotiated a private purchase of the filly for $65,000.

"It was a pretty flukey thing," said Farr, "but it turned out great."

Gonetofarr, who now has earned $232,023, is nominated to the Selene, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies here May 20, but is not scheduled to participate.

"We'll go right to the Oaks," said Baker. "The races are just too close together."

Plate may be too ambitious a goal

Baker also has two possible candidates for the Queen's Plate in Wolverine and Classic Mike. Both are nominated to the May 20 Marine, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, but are unlikely entrants.

"I'm looking for allowance races for them," said Baker. "If they run extremely well, we'll go toward the Plate."

The trainer found a spot for Wolverine here Friday, a seven-furlong first-level allowance for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Wolverine, owned by the trainer in partnership with Derek Cornelius, won his maiden over seven furlongs in his second career outing here last fall and then wound up his first campaign with a fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie.

Wolverine has finished second in each of his two starts this year, at five and six furlongs.

Classic Mike, an impressive winner of his only outing at 2 for Dom Romeo's Terra Farm, has been a beaten favorite in each of his two allowance appearances this spring, at 6 1/2 and seven furlongs.

Ginger Gold will await Oaks

Ginger Gold, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly but beaten three-quarters of a length as the Fury runner-up in her first start of the season, also is nominated to the Selene but probably will bypass that Grade 1 race and proceed directly to the Oaks.

"She was a little tired [after the Fury]," said Sid Attard, who trains Ginger Gold for the Jim Dandy Stable of Mel Lawson. "It was a tough race for her.

"I don't think she's going to run in the Selene; that would be three races in just over a month."

Attard also reports that Numerous Times, Canada's champion turf horse last year, is missing some training time as a result of a throat infection and may not be ready for his first early-season stakes target, the May 25 Connaught Cup.

"I'm not sure if he can make the Connaught," said Attard. "We're not going to push him."

* Distant Roar, who would seem to represent Sam-Son Farm's last hopes of winning a third consecutive Oaks, didn't get a chance to show her stuff in the Fury as she parted company with jockey Robert Landry at the start of the race. "I don't know what I'm going to do with her now," said trainer Mark Frostad, noting that Distant Roar is nominated to the Selene but also has allowance options.

* Song of the Wild, a 4-year-old half-sister to Distant Roar who was an impressive winner of her first career start at Churchill Downs last Friday, has arrived at Woodbine along with Quiet Resolve, who finished seventh in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day.

* Jockey Slade Callaghan will be serving a three-day suspension, beginning Friday. The stewards ruled Callaghan came in with his mount, Falwyn, and interfered with Tricky Moment in the vicinity of the three-eighths pole during the running of last Saturday's ninth race. Tricky Moment finished third, Falwyn seventh.