06/11/2003 11:00PM

Le Cinquieme Essai 'short horse' last time


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Le Cinquieme Essai, the Fort Erie-based runner who won last year's Prince of Wales and was Canada's champion 3-year-old, will start next in the $300,000 King Edward Breeders' Cup at Woodbine Sunday.

The Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile turf race will be Le Cinquieme Essai's second start of the year.

Le Cinquieme Essai finished out of the money May 24 in Woodbine's Connaught Cup, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, dueling for the lead until midstretch before giving way.

"Basically, I ran a short horse," said trainer Paul Nielsen.

"It was a big undertaking for him, going that early and that far. But, there really wasn't anywhere easier to run," Nielsen said. "He came out of the race good and I think he's gone forward off it. And, he's been training very well since."

Although Le Cinquieme Essai's greatest triumph, the Prince of Wales, was on dirt, Nielsen believes he is better on grass. Two of Le Cinquieme Essai's four wins have come on the turf.

Nielsen, who has 10 horses in his barn, will start his first runner of the meet here Monday - Miss Filibuster, a first-time starter.

"I really like her," said Nielsen, who trained his horses at Payson Park over the winter. "She's a nice filly."

Nielsen lands two from Kentucky

Powderjay, who won the Miss Moneypenny Stakes for Nielsen here last year, did not return here this season. Owner-breeder Leyton Register turned her over to his sister, Allison Register, a Kentucky trainer.

"Register sent me two horses this year," said Nielsen. "Flower Hunter is a maiden filly who was third at Churchill Downs. She'll fit nice here. And the other is a 2-year-old, Sunday Page."

Apprentices ride doubles

Two apprentice jockeys rode their first career doubles here this week.

On Monday, Daniel Boudreau won with Master Carver ($20.50) and Danubio ($11.50). On Tuesday, Jillian Scharfstein hit with If You Don't ($5) and Classic Caller ($27.70).

Both riders got their licenses in western Canada before coming east.

Boudreau, a 23-year-old native of New Brunswick, ended up in Winnipeg when he was a teenager. He was on his way home from a cross-Canada hitchhiking trip when he was directed to the racetrack.

"I was trying to discover myself, find what I wanted to do in life," said Boudreau.

Late in 2001, Boudreau started riding in Winnipeg. In his 12th start he got his first win, in the final race of the Assiniboia Downs season.

Boudreau then moved to Fort Erie, where he got three wins and then stopped on the year to preserve his apprentice allowance.

Last year, he had 17 wins here, and going into Saturday's program he had 10 wins at the meet.

Scharfstein, 20, a native of Saskatchewan, arrived in Ontario this spring. She began her career last summer at Northlands Park in Edmonton, where she had three wins from 45 starts. Her double gives her four wins in Ontario.

Fort Erie radio program launched

With almost no fanfare a new racing program was launched last Saturday on 1270 AM, a Buffalo, N.Y., radio station. The five-hour broadcast was done live from the Fort Erie racetrack.

The show is the brainchild of Robert Saviola, who was aided in his project by Herb McGirr, Fort Erie's racing director.

Saviola, a horse owner, practices hypnotherapy in Snyder, a suburb of Buffalo. He also hosts a weekly interview show on the station.

"We thought we would try and start a show broadcasting the races live," said Saviola, 43. "It's never been done, at least not here. We need to spark interest and get young blood out here."

The show, each Saturday, begins at 12:30 pm. and uses the in-house production from the racetrack, which features analysis by Brian Blessing and race-calling by Daryl Wells.

When Blessing and Wells are not on air, Saviola takes over with a sidekick, Joe Morano, who offers handicapping advice.

At 6 p.m., the day's results are re-capped. The station's 5,000-watt signal reaches Pennsylvania to the south and can be picked up in Toronto.