07/03/2005 11:00PM

Lung problem can't stop Wannatalkaboutme


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wannatalkaboutme may not be able to pass a veterinary inspection, but she can certainly pass muster on the racetrack.

"I wouldn't be able to sell her; she wouldn't vet," said trainer Nick Gonzalez, who sent out Wannatalkaboutme to win last Saturday's $168,550 My Dear for the partnership of MAD Racing Stable and his wife and assistant trainer, Martha Gonzalez.

Nick Gonzalez explains that Wannatalkaboutme was born with a condition that affects her lung-power.

"She has a paralyzed flap," said Gonzalez. "Her breathing apparatus certainly isn't working like a normal horse. Eventually, it has to catch up with her.

"She's not a good candidate for surgery," he said. "We'll probably do as much as we can with her early. I don't know what kind of horse she'd be if she didn't have that breathing problem."

Wannatalkaboutme certainly has not shown signs of having a disability in her two starts. After winning her debut over 4 1/2 furlongs when tagged for $40,000 and coming right back to romp in the five-furlong My Dear, she already has earned $132,630.

Initially, Gonzalez said he wasn't keen on running Wannatalkaboutme in the My Dear, an open filly race, since there were opportunities such as the July 17 Shady Well and the Aug. 6 Nandi on the horizon. The $150,000 Shady Well is a 5 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-foaled fillies, and the $125,000 Nandi is a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired fillies.

"I really was going to bypass this race," said Gonzalez of the My Dear. "But when I breezed her back five-eighths after her first win, she was doing so good. I thought five furlongs would be good for her, and in the 2-year-old races I watched here this year, I didn't see any filly I thought could beat her."

Wholelottabourbon has setback

Wannatalkaboutme's ownership group struck gold for the first time last year with Wholelottabourbon, winner of three stakes and Canada's champion 2-year-old male.

Wholelottabourbon, who is based with Gonzalez at Fort Erie, had been pointing for the $125,000 Deputy Minister, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds here July 20, but is unlikely to make that race.

"I had a little setback with him," said Gonzalez. "As I've said before, he doesn't do that well when it's really hot. I backed off on him, and then he got an infection in his leg. He's doing great now, but I really don't have a race picked out for him."

Wholelottabourbon, who is a New York-bred but Ontario-sired, has raced twice this year, winning the open six-furlong Woodstock and then finishing a game second when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the Grade 3 Marine here May 23.

Palladio, who finished a neck behind Wholelottabourbon as the third-place finisher in the Marine, came back to win the Victoria Park here and then last Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.

Bonnycastle named Jockey Club chair

Dick Bonnycastle has been elected chairman of the Jockey Club of Canada, the organization announced Monday.

Bonnycastle, an owner and breeder from Calgary, Alberta, has been a member of the JCC since its inception by E.P. Taylor in 1973 and has previously served as a steward.

Racing under the black and white diamond silks of Harlequin Ranches, Bonnycastle campaigns in Canada, California, England, and Australia. He replaces Michael Byrne, who stepped down when his term expired after 10 years.

Byrne, a member of the organization since 1987, was instrumental in forming the Horse Racing Tax Alliance of Canada, a dual breed industry association that continues to seek reform of the Canadian Income Tax Act, and in forming the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee, which currently monitors 37 graded races in Canada.

A Bit O'Gold dominates rival

Last Friday's Grade 3, $216,200 Dominion Day Handicap was billed as a 1 1/4-mile showdown between Niigon and A Bit O'Gold, the one-two finishers at that distance in last year's Queen's Plate.

A Bit O'Gold went on to win the next two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, turning the tables on Niigon in the Prince of Wales and then capturing the Breeders' while Niigon had ventured south of the border.

Friday's grudge match turned into a mismatch, as A Bit O'Gold, under regular rider Jono Jones, cruised to a 6 1/2-length victory over Niigon under regular pilot Robert Landry.

"His trip was great," said Catherine Day Phillips, who trains A Bit O'Gold. "He's been training tremendously and he's been running well, even though he hasn't been winning."

A Bit O'Gold was making just his third start of the season after finishing third in the seven-furlong Vigil and fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse, both Grade 3 handicaps. With a dearth of main-track opportunities for older stakes horses on the horizon, though, Day Phillips will have to consider other scenarios.

"He'll most likely be staying here," said Day Phillips. "We'll possibly be looking at grass options."

A Bit O'Gold's only turf start was the Breeders', at 1 1/2 miles. The next turf stakes for the division here is the Grade 2, $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre, a 1 3/8-mile race July 24.

Niigon will also be nominated to the Chinese Cultural Centre.

Quick in Deed stays hot

Quick in Deed became the first four-time winner of the meeting in Friday's supporting feature, the $158,550 Achievement Handicap for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds.

After finishing second in his season debut behind subsequent Queenston winner Verne's Baby, Quick in Deed knocked off a couple of restricted allowance races before becoming a stakes winner in the Bold Ruckus over six furlongs on turf here June 15.

Quick in Deed is slated to swing back in the Deputy Minister on July 20.