09/06/2006 11:00PM

Grab the Cat tries to stay perfect


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Trainer Daryl Ezra is on a mission. He aims to have Grab the Cat snare horse of the year honors at Fort Erie.

Twice before has the Fort's horse of the year come out of Ezra's barn - Ashagio in 2003 and Lucky Tec in 2004.

Grab the Cat will go for her fifth straight score in Saturday's $30,000 Longshots OTB Cup. The six-furlong race drew a field of seven fillies and mares.

Grab the Cat, 4, is undefeated in four appearances at the Fort Erie meet. Her latest win came in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Horseshoe Cup on Aug. 12.

Ezra said he feels a win Saturday for his filly is paramount. She would then join Cold War as the only runners at the meet to have won five times.

An undefeated record at the meet would weigh heavily in Grab the Cat's favor, said Ezra, pointing out that Cold War, a gelding, has been beaten at the meet.

"We have the best horse in the race Saturday," said Ezra, "but if Harvest Singing repeats that race [July 9] where she won going six furlongs in 1:11 and change she would probably beat us. I don't know where that race came from."

Harvest Singing, trained by Vernon Fernandes, has won 3 of 8 starts at the meet. She was the beaten favorite in her latest, the 6 1/2-furlong Buffalo Cup on Aug. 19, where she finished sixth after breaking in the air.

"[Harvest Singing] wasn't too well last time," said Fernandes, pointing out that she exhibited some mucus following her effort. "When she got left she ran right up there and caught them. Then she just stopped. She's okay now, it seems."

Fernandes would love to pour on Ezra's parade. Not only does Fernandes own Harvest Singin, but he also owns Cold War.

Big day for Polkey, Beckon

Melissa Polkey, who has been riding off and on since 1989, won three of the first four races here on Labor Day. It was her first hat trick.

But Polkey's riding feat was overshadowed by jockey Chad Beckon, who won both halves of the Cup stakes doubleheader.

Beckon was aboard Windinthevalley in the Centre Stage Anne and on Smiling Jordan in the Puss n Boots.

Beckon followed tradition and celebrated the Puss n Boots victory with a dip into an infield lake. Joining him were trainer Henry Whalen and owner Jeffery Deperio.