10/30/2007 11:00PM

La Salle Glory enjoys career season

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Bev Buck had more than her share of the spotlight back in 1998, guiding the likes of Terremoto and Riddells Creek through Sovereign Award campaigns.

Things may not be quite as exciting around the Buck barn these days, but the trainer still has plenty to cheer for with La Salle Glory, No Dilettante, and Silver Beacon all in the midst of solid campaigns.

"I like everybody I'm running," said Buck, 54. "They don't give me any reason not to. They're not complicated, not unsound. They're all healthy and happy."

The best of the bunch right now is La Salle Glory, a Kentucky-bred 6-year-old who is owned by Buck.

La Salle Glory will be looking for her first stakes win in Saturday's $125,000 Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

"She's never been as good as she is right now," Buck said. "I always point out that her sire, Lit de Justice, won the Breeders' Cup Sprint here as a 6-year-old. His horses get better with age."

This season indeed has been La Salle Glory's best as she has won 3 of 11 starts and $148,017. She has raced 46 times in her career, winning 8 starts and adding 10 seconds and 5 thirds while amassing $504,883.

And, were it not for La Salle Glory's tendency toward self-damage, Buck believes those numbers could have been much better.

"She's always getting hurt at the farm, doing stupid stuff," Buck said. "Once, when she was turned out, she ripped her knee open. Another time, she ripped her nostril up. She's her own worst enemy."

La Salle Glory's most recent mishap, however, was not self-induced.

"We were taking her to the field one day, a couple of months ago," Buck said. "She was going to pass a horse when the horse kicked out at her.

"She went sideways, then ran head first into a tree."

La Salle Glory also suffered scrapes to a knee, ankle, and shoulder.

The symptoms did not take long to subside, but after La Salle Glory finished sixth here Sept. 8, she was sent to a veterinary clinic in nearby Barrie for an examination.

"They found a fracture in her skull," Buck said. "We had to give her three weeks off."

La Salle Glory obviously has suffered no lingering effects as she won her next two starts while racing with the optional claiming tag in second- and third-level allowance races.

No Dilettante eyes allowance for next start

No Dilettante, a 4-year-old gelding owned and bred by Buck, has won just 1 of 13 starts this season but has finished second twice and third five times while banking $113,968.

Buck had put blinkers on No Dilettante for the second time this year here Oct. 5, and the gelding responded by winning a second-level allowance at six furlongs.

But that success had a downside as the stewards, exercising their discretion, refused to let Buck remove the blinkers when No Dilettante made his last start in the Bunty Lawless.

"I'd been aiming this horse for that race all year - doing this, doing that, figuring how to run him," Buck said. "I'd put the blinkers on to make him concentrate in the sprint."

No Dilettante wound up in a speed duel in the Bunty Lawless and weakened to finish a distant last in the field of 12.

"If he'd run well in there, I was going to run him in the Sir Barton," Buck said, referring to the 1 1/16-mile stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here Dec. 8. "Now, he'll run in a conditioned allowance."

While No Dilettante's schedule may be on the heavy side, Buck has good reason to keep the gelding busy on the racetrack.

"When you don't have him out, he'll weave in his stall all day," Buck said. "You might as well race him, when he's running 60 miles a day in his stall.

"You have to sit with him on the day of a race, to keep him from running around."

Silver Beacon also has been busy this season, compiling a record of 2-1-4 and earnings of $53,806 from 14 starts while progressing from the lower maiden-claiming ranks.

Silver Beacon, a 5-year-old mare owned by Ejaz Asgarali, is entered in a second-level allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here Saturday.

Mighty Vow set for Display prep

Trainer Norm DeSouza has been sending out winners at a 25 percent clip at the Woodbine meeting, with his 21 victories from 84 starters good for 13th place in that category heading into the last five weeks of the meeting.

Money won is a different story, however, as DeSouza's $527,661 total does not even come close to making the leader board.

"I've been happy," said the 51-year-old DeSouza, who has 14 horses at Woodbine. "It's been a good year, on paper. Financially, though, I've won so many races with cheap horses. The dollars and cents don't show anything."

On Friday, DeSouza seeks his biggest win of the season when he sends out Mighty Vow for the afternoon's feature, an open mile-and-70-yard allowance that offers a purse of $87,900.

The race is a prep for the $125,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds here Nov. 24.

Mighty Vow already has given the DeSouza stable its only non-claiming scores of the meeting, winning his maiden first crack out at 4o1/2 furlongs and taking a first-level allowance at six furlongs in his third appearance.

"He's come along pretty good," DeSouza said. "I think he should run a good race. He's bred for two turns but he won some short sprints from off the pace. You can do anything with him."

Mighty Vow, a Maryland-bred colt owned by Camilla Farm, tried two turns for the first time in his last start, finishing fourth under his regular rider, Chantal Sutherland, in the Grade 3 Grey at 1 1/16 miles.

"The jockey said he got blocked in; the whole thing was a mess," DeSouza said. "I think he should have had a very good shot."

Mighty Vow, who will break from post 4 Friday, is the probable second choice in the field of seven.

The favorite's role figures to fall to Miner's Claim, a Kentucky-bred who was an impressive winner of his six-furlong debut for leading trainer Mark Casse.