08/10/2001 11:00PM

It may be short wait for second stakes win


FORT ERIE, Ont. - After serving as an assistant to Woodbine trainer Mike Keogh for several years, Robert Martin took over the training of Victor Deschenes's runners last August. Last Monday, the 31-year-old Martin saddled his first stakes winner when Golden Returns upset the heavy favorite, Tempered Appeal, in the Expedite Plus Stakes at Fort Erie.

Martin hopes the wait for his next stakes score is only a week. He is sending out Lenny the Lender to contest the $50,000 Cool Reception Stakes on Monday. It's one of the seven new stakes that has been added to the Fort Erie menu. Eight runners are entered for the race.

Multiple stakes winner Northern Prospector could be the favorite. An 8-year-old gelding, Northern Prospector has amassed $522,441 in earnings. In his second 2001 start, on July 29, he was a just a neck short of victory in a $50,000 optional-claimer at 1 1/16 miles. He will be ridden by Dale Hemsley, who won all four of the races he was named to ride in last Tuesday. He did finish out of the money in the seventh race while substituting for Chris Griffith, who canceled the remainder of his mounts after the fourth race.

Three-year-old Le Vainqueur, who is the lowest money-earner in the field, may wind up with the most money riding on him. A rapidly improving gelding, Le Vainqueur boasts the highest last two Beyer Speed Figures registered by any in the field. He was an impressive winner in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in his latest July 16. He circled the field and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Michael Quong, Fort Erie's third-leading rider, will be aboard.

Trainer Dan Poliziani has obtained the services of Constant Montpellier to ride his 9-year-old veteran, Malcoha. Montpellier, who won the Prince of Wales aboard Win City, holds the track record of 143 wins in one season, set in 1993. Malcoha, winless in two starts this year, was Fort Erie's horse of the year in 1998.

Smart Ascot, Intheeventofafire, Smoke'n'ashes, and R J's Game complete the field.

Also on the card is a two-furlong sprint featuring the ever-popular Pecos Star. The 9-year-old Pecos Star won six consecutive dashes last year. He's 2 for 5 this year. He will try and make it 2 for 2 for his latest owner, Ted Dobbie.