11/27/2008 12:00AM

Minshall barn has a hint of its old presence


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It has been a decade and more since Barbara Minshall was on top of the world as the trainer of stars such as Mt. Sassafras, Bold Ruritana, Kiridashi, and Stephanotis.

But Minshall quietly has been putting together a decent campaign this year and will be looking to get into the stakes win column with Parabola entered for Saturday's $125,000 Kingarvie and Dance for Us slated for Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie.

The Kingarvie is a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds and the Ontario Lassie a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

"I thought I had a good year, considering I had to basically start from scratch when the farm was sold a couple of years ago," said Minshall. "All the yearlings were sold, most of the mares, and all of the foals. Basically, the horses I was left with were those that didn't sell."

Those sold included the 3-year-old homebreds Stuck in Traffic, a multiple stakes winner, and the up-and-coming Field Commission.

Minshall Farm, sold to dissolve a partnership between brothers Shawn and Patrick Minshall, is now the sole property of Barbara Minshall's stepson Shawn Minshall, who now is just one of the trainer's clients.

"He's a small owner, with a small breeding operation," said Minshall.

"I'm a public trainer now. I'd like to get a few more horses."

In the meantime, Minshall will be focusing on the pair of Parabola and Dance for Us with an eye toward not only this weekend but the 2009 season.

Parabola, an Ontario-sired homebred, is owned by Janet Jeanpierre, a new Minshall client.

"She gave me carte blanche with the horse," said Minshall. "I took my time.

"I liked him, but I always thought he was a two-turn horse. He's a big, gangly kind of green colt."

Parabola was unplaced in his first three starts in restricted maiden company and then dropped in for a $25,000 claiming price following a seven-week break.

"I thought he should have won that race," said Minshall, who watched Parabola finish third when stretching out to a mile and 70 yards.

Still, Parabola's performance was encouraging enough for Minshall to return him to non-claiming company, and he responded with a sharp score going a mile and 70 yards here Nov. 6.

Since then, Parabola has turned in a pair of solid five-furlong drills, going in 1:00 on Nov. 16 and 1:00.40 on Nov. 23.

"He's training very well into this race, and I'm looking forward to it," said Minshall. "I really think he has a chance to improve as he gets more mature."

Dance for Us, a Minshall Farm homebred, put it all together in her third start to graduate smartly at a mile and 70 yards.

"She looked like a two-turn filly right from the get-go," said Minshall. "I was quite happy with the way she won. She acts like she's got a lot of quality."

Heading the field for the Ontario Lassie is Retraceable, who was a convincing winner of the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth in her last start here Nov. 1.

Collerosa to attempt two turns

Collerosa, a maiden trained by Mike DePaulo, took a shot in the $252,800 Cup and Saucer and finished a closing third in that 1 1/16-mile race run over a yielding turf course.

Now Collerosa will attempt to win his first race in the Kingarvie, which will be his first try around two turns.

"He's really never run a bad race," said DePaulo, who trains Collerosa for owner Frank Romano.

Collerosa had finished a closing second going 5 1/2 furlongs in his debut and then was a troubled third going one mile on turf.

In his next and most recent appearance, in the Oct. 26 Cup and Saucer, Collerosa was beaten 13 lengths in a race where the winner, Utterly Cool, romped by 10 1/4 lengths.

"Utterly Cool ran away with it, and we were coming from way out of it," said DePaulo, who also noted that sixth-place finisher Active Duty came back to win for the first time in the $250,400 Coronation Futurity.

Khabibulin, another maiden trained by DePaulo, had finished 10th in the Cup and Saucer but ran third in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.

Collerosa, meanwhile, bypassed the Coronation to point for the Kingarvie.

"He had three weeks without works, and then came back with two steady five-eighths," said DePaulo, who sent out Collerosa to breeze in 1:01.80 on Nov. 15 and in 1:02 on Nov. 22.

"I think two turns will be just fine for him."

Good and Lucky seems to like it wet

Good and Lucky, a winner of 1 of 6 starts here this year for trainer Josie Carroll, is among nine entrants in Saturday's $60,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds.

A Florida-bred 5-year-old gelding owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, Good and Lucky is 3 for 4 at Fair Grounds, with two of those wins on sloppy tracks and the other over good going.

The field for the 1 1/16-mile Tenacious also includes Secret Getaway, a 3-year-old colt who was based at Arlington but shipped here to win the Victoria Park and the Toronto Cup this summer.

Sovereign voting in progress

Balloting for the 34th annual Sovereign Awards, which is conducted through the Jockey Club of Canada's website, , opened Thursday morning and will be open through 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday.

To be eligible for consideration, 2-year-olds must have made at least two starts in Canada this year as of last Sunday, and 3-year-olds and older horses must have made at least three starts.

Providing that a horse was eligible for consideration as of that date, voters will be free to take into consideration their performances this week.

The same standard applies to the jockey, apprentice jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, and broodmare categories.

* The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will hold its final meeting of the season here Wednesday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Champions lounge.