06/10/2010 11:00PM

Leslie busy juggling several hats


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Owner/trainer Sue Leslie already was president of the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, a board member of both the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium and LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, and chair of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry.

Last week, Leslie added the position of president of Ontario Horse Racing Industry, an umbrella association that represents all segments of the industry.

All of which raises the question: When does Leslie find time to train her horses?

"It's been difficult," said Leslie, who is the trainer and part-owner of Moment of Majesty, one of eight entrants in Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks. "What I try to do, obviously, is start very early and get in an hour or an hour and a half of work at home.

"From 6 to 10, basically, I'm at the track. Then, I spend the balance of the day on industry issues."

Leslie, who has 18 horses here, believes strongly in her various portfolios and can envision herself cutting back on the racing front.

For the moment, however, there is Moment of Majesty, whom Leslie owns in partnership with former National Hockey League goaltender Curtis Joseph and player agent Don Meehan.

Moment of Majesty, a homebred, started five times as a 2-year-old, winning her maiden over a mile and 70 yards and then finishing on the edges in a pair of 1 1/16-mile stakes.

"Her biggest problem was a very immature mind," said Leslie. "She had a very baby-like attitude."

After wintering in Florida, where she spent time at trainer Mark Casse's farm in the Ocala area and with Roger Attfield at Payson Park and Palm Meadows, Moment of Majesty returned in a first-level allowance at seven furlongs here May 1.

With her regular rider Robert Landry recuperating from rib injuries, David Clark took advantage of a lack of pace to guide Moment of Majesty to a front-running score.

Landry was back in the saddle here May 23 when Moment of Majesty finished third in the 1 1/16 mile La Lorgnette. Biofuel, the winner, is a Kentucky-bred and runner-up Ernfold is coming into the Woodbine Oaks as the second favorite.

"Mentally, she's come around, in terms of her attitude to her racing," said Leslie. "Rob is with her every day. He's got her to go from being anxious to being relaxed.

"I wish we had another month, but she has improved from her last race."

Giant's Tomb heads Sam-Son Plate drive

Mark Frostad could have Sam-Son Farm homebreds coming from three directions into the Queen's Plate, with the most conventional route being the one taken by Giant's Tomb, who is entered in Sunday's 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

Frostad's other candidates are Hotep, who is training up to the July 4 Queen's Plate after finishing second in the open Marine at 1 1/16 miles here May 29, and Dark Cloud Dancer ran second in a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles here last Sunday.

Giant's Tomb won over a mile and 40 yards under first-level allowance terms in his last of three starts at the Fair Grounds on March 22. Back at Woodbine and racing in his next allowance condition, Giant's Tomb was third behind a pair of older rivals at 1 1/16 miles on May 8.

"He's going to like the mile and an eighth a lot better than a mile and a sixteenth," said Frostad "He has a good kick. He's pretty laid-back. I just hope there's some speed in there."

Trial lead looks up for grabs

The Plate Trial, in fact, lacks a dedicated front-runner, but there are several who could opt for such tactics if the circumstances seem right.

Mobthewarrior, who will be making his second start of the season, is among that group. He will be ridden by regular rider Emile Ramsammy.

"It looks like a paceless race to me," said Greg De Gannes, who trains Mobthewarrior for owner Andrew Fredericks. "I definitely think Emile's going to get him involved a little earlier than normal."

Mobthewarrior raced six times at 2, capping his campaign by becoming a stakes winner in the seven-furlong Frost King for Ontario-sired horses.

After wintering in Florida with his trainer, Mobthewarrior returned in a restricted seven-furlong allowance here May 9 and was beaten a nose as the runner-up to an older horse.

"As a 2-year-old, he always seemed to want to tend to back out of it," said De Gannes. "In his last race he pinned his ears, and kept on going. He showed a little maturity. That should serve us well for the battles ahead."

In the meantime, Mobthewarrior breezed five furlongs in 1:03.80 here last Sunday after going in 1:00.40 a week earlier.

"Two weeks ago was his serious work, and he had an easy work last weekend," said De Gannes. "We're in perfect shape -- he's very keen to run."

Coverage on CBC, TVG

The Woodbine Oaks and the Plate Trial will be televised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in a one-hour special beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

The Plate Trial is set to go to post at 4:41 p.m. and the Woodbine Oaks at 5:16 p.m.

Mark Lee will host the telecast with analysts Jim Bannon and Renee Kierans. Color commentary will be provided by Sandy Hawley and by Dawn Lupul.

TVG also will be on hand at Woodbine to produce its own broadcast of the Woodbine Oaks and Plate Trial. Todd Schrupp and Simon Bray will be the hosts.

Track should be bustling

In addition to the 11 races here Sunday, there will be plenty of other events taking place around the racetrack.

* A handicapping panel, focusing on the Woodbine Oaks, will convene at 11 a.m. on the second floor of the grandstand.

* An "extreme handicapping contest" will be offered, with a registration fee of $25 and a starting bankroll of $50 required. The second-floor contest center will open at 10:30 a.m.

* The Budweiser trackside party, hosted by Toronto radio station Q107, will begin at 1 p.m.

* Stewart Elliot will be presented with the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award following the second race. Gomez died in a spill following the 1980 Woodbine Oaks.

* Sunday will be "Community Day" at Woodbine. The annual event recognizes the Woodbine Entertainment Group's industry and community partners, who will have interactive displays and presentations for adults and children.