07/05/2006 11:00PM

Main-track finale in the books

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Sky Conqueror wins the King Edward, giving Todd Kabel his fifth stakes win of the meet.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The days of Woodbine's main track came to an end here on Monday when Town Thief scampered home a 1 1/2-length winner in a six-furlong maiden special weight race.

Racing will be moved to the inner track beginning Saturday while a Polytrack surface is being installed on the main track.

Town Thief may not have been a particularly appropriate footnote for the occasion, since he is trained by the California-based Ben Cecil and has been stabled at Fort Erie with trainer Edward Freeman.

But the same cannot be said of Town Thief's jockey, Emma-Jayne Wilson, who has taken Woodbine by storm over the past two seasons.

Wilson, who will lose her apprentice allowance on Aug. 12 and is looking for her second consecutive riding title here, was riding her 58th winner of the meeting.

Justin Stein, second with 43 winners, loses his "bug" on Aug. 4.

Sky Conqueror's next: Northern Dancer BC

Todd Kabel's victory aboard Sky Conqueror in Monday's Grade 2, $300,400 King Edward was his fifth in a stakes race this season, a total matched only by Jim McAleney.

Sky Conqueror, a 4-year-old owned and bred by Bill Sorokolit and trained by Darwin Banach, got his first stakes score in the King Edward, a 1 1/8-mile turf race.

"I don't think we've seen his best yet," said Banach. "He's only going to get better going further."

Sky Conqueror shouldn't have to wait long for a chance to prove that point since he is scheduled to make his next start in the $700,000 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf at 1 1/2 miles here July 23.

Sky Conqueror's connections sound familiar?

Banach and Sorokolit also teamed to win back-to-back runnings of the Grade 2 Canadian Handicap in 2004 and 2005 with Classic Stamp, who was retired at age 6 earlier this year.

Classic Stamp, a homebred as is Sky Conqueror, won 6 of 24 career starts and finished second or third 11 times while banking $986,551. She is in foal to Distorted Humor.

Financingavailable's record now indelible

Financingavailable earned a permanent spot in the Woodbine books by setting a track record of 1:20.49 for seven furlongs in the Sweet Briar Too on Sunday.

A 5-year-old mare owned by K.K. Sangara and trained by Lorne Richards, Financingavailable won for the fourth time in as many starts on the main track at the distance.

Financingavailable also handles herself quite well on grass, and her next stakes target is the $125,000 Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here Aug. 20.

"I hope we can get one into her before then," said Richards.

Tothemoonandback in Deputy Minister next

McAleney, Financingavailable's regular rider, also won last Saturday's $150,000 Achievement with Tothemoonandback.

Tothemoonandback, who races for the partnership of Reade Baker Racing Stable, Rob Smithen, and Jim Aston, got his second straight stakes win in the six-furlong Achievement. Earlier, Tothemoonandback won the Bold Ruckus at the same distance and on turf.

Next up for Tothemoonandback is the $125,000 Deputy Minister, a 7 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds here July 19.

"If we want to bite off something a little bigger, we'll do that later," said Baker, who leads the Woodbine trainer standings with 31 victories and is also the leading stakes-winning trainer with seven scores.

Baker also trains Coy Coyote, who finished a close second in the $126,600 My Dear here last Sunday. And he has Backgammon entered in Saturday's five-furlong Clarendon.

Backgammon, owned by D. Morgan Firestone, is a full brother to Tothemoonandback and will be making his career debut in the five-furlong Clarendon.

Ontario Debutante logical goal for Lottacosta

Lottacosta, winner of the five-furlong My Dear, is a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old filly owned by the Jam Jar Racing Stable of Bud and Jackie Reynolds and trained by John Ross.

"She looks like she could have a nice future," said Ross, who sent out Lottacosta to win for the second time in three starts in the My Dear. "We're not in a hurry with her now. We want to space things out, do the right thing with her."

The next logical stakes target for Lottacosta is the $125,000 Ontario Debutante, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies here Aug. 19.

Cryptograph injured, his racing career over

Funny Cide's victory in last Saturday's $200,800 Dominion Day was the "feel-good" story of the race. On the other hand, Cryptograph - who wound up third after looking like a winner at the top of the stretch - emerged from the race with a career-ending injury.

"He fractured a sesamoid," said Malcolm Pierce, who trained Cryptograph for Pin Oak Stable. "He came off the bridle in the middle of the stretch; that's probably when it happened."

Cryptograph was to head to Kentucky on Thursday and undergo surgery.

"He'll be a stallion next year," said Pierce. "His stall's going to be very hard to fill."

Funeral service for Glen Buttigieg

A funeral service will be held on Saturday for trainer Glen Buttigieg, who died in a boating accident on Tuesday at age 38.

The service will take place at 11 a.m. at the Smith Funeral Home, 1167 Guelph Line, Burlington. Visitation was scheduled Friday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Glen Buttigieg, the son of trainer Paul Buttigieg, returned to the racetrack this year with a small string based at Woodbine. He had worked with his father in the past both at Woodbine and at the family's Buttigieg Training Centre. He was also a jockey agent.

Glen Buttigieg trained Deputy Inxs in his 3-year-old season in 1994. Deputy Inxs went on to win multiple stakes and earn $790,559.

He also trained stakes winner Bronze Basque in the summer of 1995.