08/02/2007 11:00PM

Main Executive tries again in Shepperton


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The 2006 running of the Shepperton Stakes had to be the low point of the season for trainer Radlie Loney. His stable star Main Executive had been backed out of the gate just as they rang the bell and was declared a non-starter.

On Sunday, Loney will be looking for a happier outcome as he sends out both Main Executive and his half-brother Cool Selection in the $125,000 Shepperton at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Main Executive, a 5-year-old, is winless in three starts this year but was beaten by just a neck last time out as the runner-up in a seven-furlong allowance race won in track-record time by Verne's Baby.

The Shepperton will be Main Executive's first start in seven weeks, however, and the gelding missed a key workout scheduled for last week.

"I'd set him up to work, but when I came in the next morning, he was sore," Loney said. "He had a pus pocket - we had to get his shoes off, and he missed six days of training.

"Once I sent him back to the track, he's actually trained better than he has for a long time."

Main Executive illustrated Loney's point last Monday, going five furlongs in a bullet 59 seconds.

"I was very pleased with his work," said Loney, who said he caught Main Executive galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.

Cool Selection, an 8-year-old gelding who returned to Loney's barn this spring, put together a three-race win streak in May and June while moving from the $16,000 claiming to second-level allowance ranks.

The bubble burst when Cool Selection faced open company in the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture, but he was far from disgraced in finishing fourth.

Cool Selection broke from the rail that day and was pressed throughout by jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard Just Rushing, who finished second to his rallying stablemate Gangster.

"She did a good job on him, keeping him down there," Loney said. "He hates the rail if he's not out there by himself."

While Loney's entrants might appear to have clashing styles, the trainer is not concerned about an intramural speed duel.

"Main Executive likes it up front; he runs his best races when you let him run free," Loney said. "Cool Selection doesn't care. You can take him back. He enjoys making a run."

Richard Dos Ramos was Main Executive's regular rider until last fall and returns to the saddle, while Chantal Sutherland takes over aboard Cool Selection.

Executive Choice won the last Ontario-sired race for the division, the June 9 Steady Growth at 1 1/16 miles, in his first start for trainer Reade Baker.

A 6-year-old gelding who had been purchased privately for $75,000 U.S., Executive Choice also raced at 1 1/16 miles in his latest, finishing second under fourth-level allowance terms here July 5.

"I don't think cutting back in distance will be a problem," Baker said. "I think he's a horse that's got natural speed. As soon as he gets near the racetrack, he's all go, go."

Baker does not want Executive Choice to be too eager, however, and will be taking the blinkers off for the Shepperton.

"He's been too tough to rate," Baker said. "I'm hoping somebody volunteers to go with Main Executive, and I don't want it to be me."