05/07/2008 11:00PM

Katryan rebuilds stable with new clients


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Abraham Katryan's Woodbine barn has a new look this season.

Katryan, 51, has been training since 1997 and this will be his first campaign in which owner Bruno Schickedanz is not a client.

Schickedanz, whose horses accounted for 15 of Katryan's 42 winners last year, has consolidated his stock here with trainer Mark Fournier.

"Bruno gave me a great start," said Katryan. "I wish him all the best."

Katryan is not exactly suffering, numbers-wise. He has 40 horses in his public stable here, with Glenn Harvey's Kelynack Stable his main owner, and is always receptive to new clients.

On Saturday, Katryan will send out Stonetown, his current stable star, in the $125,000 New Providence.

Stonetown will be making his first start of the season in the New Providence, a 6 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

"He was in Florida this winter, and came up here about six weeks ago," said Katryan. "He was a little bit sick when he first came here, with the change in weather.

"I don't know if I've got him right so far, but he's training forwardly."

A 5-year-old gelding, Stonetown put together a four-race win streak here last summer, capped by a front-running score in the 1 1/16-mile Elgin for yearling sales horses.

The bubble burst when Stonetown swung back 16 days after the Elgin and faltered to finish fifth as the strong second choice in the seven-furlong Overskate.

Stonetown also failed to stay the trip in his last two starts of the season, both over 1 1/16 miles.

"He's basically a sprinter," said Katryan. "He handled a distance the first time, but most horses do."

High hopes for Luna Blu

Katryan's current contingent includes 10 2-year-olds and he is particularly excited about the prospects for Luna Blu, a homebred filly who will race for Kelynack.

Luna Blu is by Lemon Drop Kid and is the second foal of Mysterious Affair, who won 12 of 37 starts and more than $1 million and was purchased privately following her retirement in 2003.

"She's a gorgeous-looking filly," said Katryan.

Fournier shifts base from Fort Erie

Fournier, 37, is based at Woodbine for the first time after spending his formative years at Fort Erie.

Born in Welland, Fournier has been at the racetrack since he was 18 with the exception of a three-year sabbatical spent working in the service industry.

After working as a hot walker for the late Donnie Drake and as a groom for Lyle Morden, with whom he owned a few horses in partnership, Fournier returned to the track in 2000.

Fournier took out his trainer's license in 2002 and his first major success came with Major Zee, who won five races at Fort Erie in 2003 and another four the following year before being claimed from his winning seasonal debut at age 13 in 2006.

"I owned part of him, too," said Fournier. "That's how I got started."

In 2005, Fournier hooked up with Schickedanz, who is a perennial power at the Fort Erie meet.

"He asked me if I wanted to take some horses for him," said Fournier, who started out with 10 horses for Schickedanz.

That number increased to 15 in 2006 and 30 last year, when Fournier zoomed to the top of the Fort Erie trainer standings.

Now Fournier is at Woodbine, training the vast majority of his 24-horse stable for Schickedanz.

"After last fall he'd mentioned the idea to me," said Fournier. "I was at Mountaineer for him for the winter, then I came here."

Coincidentally, Fournier also will be represented in the New Providence. Yummy With Butter, a 4-year-old gelding, will be making his stakes debut for Schickedanz.

Yummy With Butter, who was trained here last season by Yvon Belsoeur, won 3 of 8 starts while moving from the maiden $12,500 to the $40,000 conditioned claiming ranks.

This year, Yummy With Butter came out running to finish a rapidly closing second in a first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs, beaten a head and earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

"He's facing a bunch of classy old horses who have been there and done this before," said Fournier. "But with the way he ran and the way he's training, I think he's got a shot."

Two ship to Presque Isle for stakes

Trainer Reade Baker, who won last Sunday's Bouwerie at Belmont with Northern Netti, plans to be at Presque Isle Downs on Saturday night to saddle Bright Pick for the $100,000 Tall Ships.

Bright Pick, winner of a first-level allowance over five furlongs here opening day, will be making his stakes debut in the Tall Ships, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds.

Jim McAleney was named on Bright Pick but has late calls on Saturday's card here and will be replaced by Jerry Baird.

Carson's Legacy, part of trainer Steve Asmussen's Woodbine contingent, also is in the Tall Ships.

In his first start locally, Carson's Legacy finished second as the odds-on choice in the April 19 Woodstock.

Northern Netti needs time off

Northern Netti also was slated to be ridden by a Woodbine jockey, but Tyler Pizarro was injured here last Saturday and was replaced by Eibar Coa.

Pizarro's agent and sister, Kerri Beauclaire, said he had pulled a shoulder when galloping out aboard sixth-place finisher Mr. Bowie here in last Saturday's eighth race.

"It wasn't very serious, but he wasn't going to be able to ride the next day," said Beauclaire.

Meanwhile, Northern Netti won by 9 1/4 lengths under a vigorous ride by Coa but emerged a little the worse for wear.

"She came back all jarred up," said Baker. "She's going to need a little time."

Baker had hoped to send Northern Netti back to Belmont for the Grade 1, $250,000 Acorn on June 7 but that plan is now in doubt.

Gotaghostofachance in for a tag

Gotaghostofachance, a 7-year-old gelding who was a recent private purchase, will be making his debut for owner Bob Cheema and trainer Terry Jordan on Saturday's card.

Winner of Belmont's Grade 3 Sport Page in 2005, Gotaghostofachance will be making his first career start for a claiming price in a second-level optional $62,500 claimer.

Gotaghostofachance also has placed in two other graded stakes while winning six races and $405,240.

"He's going all right," said Jordan, who has had Gotaghostofachance for just three weeks. "If he runs one of his graded races, he'll probably be tough to beat.

"We'll see. He's getting a little long in the tooth."