10/05/2001 11:00PM

Lizotte runners live in both Monday stakes


FORT ERIE, Ont. - Bernard Lizotte, a 61-year-old relative newcomer to the horse-training business, has a solid shot at winning both the Bridgeport Stakes and the Memorial Stakes on Monday at Fort Erie.

The two $50,000 1 1/16-mile races, one for males and one for females, are Fort Erie's last stakes races of the year.

Lizotte sold his 300-acre farm in Quebec three years ago, and became a licensed trainer last year.

He owned and bred horses for 35 years. But when he sold the farm, he also gave up his breeding stock. But he kept his runners, all of whom had been in the barn of Lizotte's longtime trainer, Rene Crete.

"I raced four babies last year and they all won," Lizotte said, adding that he won a total of four races last year.

In the Bridgeport on Monday he saddles 3-year-old Le Vainqueur. "I paid $30,000 for him at a yearling sale at Woodbine," he said. "He's a good one and he's getting better and better."

Le Vainqueur has won two of his last three starts with both wins at a distance and both via wide rallies that earned high Beyer Speed Figures.

Lizotte thinks the horses to beat in the field of nine are Dimanno, who equaled the 30-year-old 1 1/16-mile Fort Erie track record in his last start Sept. 11, and Storm Cruiser, who beat a strong field by more than 13 lengths Sept. 29. Le Vainqueur finished third, a length behind Dimanno when they met June 19.

Lizotte is more confident of winning the Memorial with his 3-year-old filly, La Princesse Jolie.

"She's better than Le Vainqueur," he said. "In her last race (at Woodbine Sept. 20) she finished fourth. The three that finished in front of her were stakes winners. And she didn't like the track at all."

Before that race La Princesse Julie scored a 10 1/4-length victory at Fort Erie in an allowance race at Monday's 1 1/16-mile distance.

The Memorial attracted 10 runners. Among the likely favorites are Ellesmere, Signs of Glory, and Prospective Gal.

"I think the one that wins this should get the filly or mare of the year honors," said Daryl Ezra, trainer of Prospective Gal. "This is not restricted to Canadian-breds. It's a very competitive race, and my horse has already won a stakes."

Prospective Gal was beaten a half-length last Monday in an allowance for non-winners of four. She adds blinkers and gets a rider change.