08/06/2002 11:00PM

Lord Shogun in a walk


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Odds-on favorite Lord Shogun set leisurely fractions of 23.80 seconds, 49.00, 1:14.80, and 1:41.00 on his way to winning Monday's 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby in 1:54.20.

"It was all the horse," said jockey Quincy Welch, after guiding Lord Shogun to a 3 1/4-length tally. "I was just waiting for them throughout the entire race."

Sunday and Monday, rumors had been running rampant around the Assiniboia Downs backstretch that Lord Shogun would be scratched because of an injury.

Lord Shogun's trainer, Robert Van Overschot, said the horse overstepped and cut himself while galloping on Saturday morning.

"But it wasn't a serious grab," said Van Overschot. "There was actually no injury to the hoof itself, but he took the corner of his bulb off. It's like you having a hangnail - it's quite tender."

Van Overschot said he examined Lord Shogun's foot on Monday morning, "and I talked to a couple of vets, and they said the injury is nothing - there's no serious injury to the foot. So I thought about it, watched him jog. He was sharp and feeling good, so I decided to go for it. And he did want to run."

The win for Lord Shogun was his fifth in a row, dating back to last October, and his third straight in a stakes race. The $60,000 winner's share of the $100,000 Manitoba Derby increased his lifetime earnings to $181,227 from eight starts.

A 3-year-old son of Maudlin, Lord Shogun returned $3.10 to win. The exactor with Silver Greek returned $54.80.

Lord Shogun will now be pointed to the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park Aug. 24.