11/09/2010 12:58PM

Molinaro Warrior keeps hot jockey for allowance dash

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Molinaro Warrior is coming off a much-improved effort under hot jockey Luis Contreras and should be prominent as the favorite in Thursday’s opener, a five-furlong, first-level allowance for Ontario-sired runners.

Molinaro Warrior had a productive spring for trainer Ross Armata, during which he won his maiden over six furlongs following three straight top-three placings in Ontario-sired maiden special company. His first try against winners July 16 resulted in a commendable second in a $40,000 claimer, behind the upwardly mobile Riding the River.

Molinaro Warrior was surprisingly flat in a subsequent allowance and then wound up fourth after a stalking trip in a key $40,000 conditioned claimer Sept. 9. He came up empty at that same level Oct. 3 but is exiting a second to a peaking Doctor Jack in allowance company in his first start under Contreras, who won with 11 of 44 mounts here last week.

Molinaro Warrior drew ideally on the outside in a six-horse field Thursday and figures to track the other speed before going in for the kill.

Hawkey Star has been a big disappointment since his fast maiden triumph in fall 2008 and is returning from a five-month layoff. He missed the board in each of his three spring starts but has fired while fresh in the past and could be heard from with Emile Ramsammy aboard.

Ruben Squires was a minor player last fall at 2 and early in the spring, before graduating in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special June 17. Following a four-month absence, he checked in sixth after a five-wide trip on Oct. 22 under David Garcia, who retains the mount.

Kevin Rawks won his maiden by disqualification in his first appearance of the year May 15 but has run erratically over a variety of surfaces since then. In the aforementioned Oct. 22 allowance, he set a lively pace before fading to third behind Molinaro Warrior, from which the victorious Doctor Jack exited to finish a troubled sixth in a nonwinners-of-three Ontario-sired allowance.

Apprentice Scott Williams, who won his first local race last week, will ride Kevin Rawks again.

Watercolormemories and J R Tommyhawk helped make this $59,700 event go.

Watercolormemories, a 7-year-old gelding, earned his diploma in his 26th start over $12,500 maidens in August but was well-beaten in each of his four races since then.