Updated on 09/15/2011 12:42PM

Molly's Wisdom gets his act together


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Vito Armata hadn't won a stakes here since Sept. 7, 1998, when Alpine Aster romped in the Muskoka.

But the 52-year-old Armata capped a career day here Sunday when he greeted Molly's Wisdom, the 2-year-old colt whom he trains for Gino Molinaro, in the infield following the $133,500 Bull Page.

"Gino liked this colt from day one," said Armata, who also sent out H Que ($6) to win Sunday's opener and Known Tender ($15.60) to win the third race.

Molly's Wisdom, out of Molinaro's stakes-winning mare, Miss Molinaro, was an early arrival at the track this winter, checking in at the beginning of February.

"He was a handful at first," said Armata, who took out his trainer's license in 1982, "but he came along nicely."

Still, Armata admits to being somewhat surprised when Molly's Wisdom debuted successfully over five furlongs here June 9.

"The horse was working really well," he said, "but I didn't know if he could go short, because he's such a big horse. I didn't know what to expect."

Molly's Wisdom came back three weeks later to finish second in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon before capturing the six-furlong Bull Page. And while he will be a force to be reckoned with down the road, Armata is not about to make any predictions.

"I believe he can go farther," said the trainer, "but we'll see what happens."

Lose one, win one

Molly's Wisdom's Bull Page victims included Stormy Lover, who finished fourth for Stronach Stable and trainer Kevin Attard.

But the 25-year-old Attard had got the big money just 24 hours earlier, when Jade Eyed gave him his first stakes score in the $134,625 Nandi.

Attard, who had been working here as an assistant to his father, trainer Tino Attard, started June 1 as the 2-year-old trainer for the Stronach outfit at Adena Springs North in nearby Aurora, Ontario. He currently has 27 juveniles under his wing and had saddled 11 starters, including two winners, through Sunday.

Jade Eyed also was his first winner, having scored for an $80,000 tag here July 12.

"She ran pretty much the same kind of race Saturday," said Attard. "She's one of those fillies who sort of loafs when she gets to the lead. If somebody had come to her, I think she'd have found another gear."

Jade Eyed is one of five Stronach-owned 2-year-old fillies nominated to the $100,000 Ontario Debutante, a six-furlong stakes here Aug. 12.

The others, all unraced, include Just Priceless, who is by Lit de Justice out of Leagueofherown.

"She's training pretty nicely," said Attard. Just Priceless is a half-sister to Top of the League, who was undefeated in two starts and on the brink of running in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies when she suffered a condylar fracture of her right hind leg during a morning gallop.

Jealous Forum, a Debutante indeed

Heading the list for the Debutante is Jealous Forum, who recorded her second win in as many starts when taking the June 23 My Dear for Mockingbird Farm and Mark Casse, who trains seven of the 32 Debutante nominees.

Jealous Forum, with assistant trainer Ricky Griffith in the irons, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 here last Saturday in company with stalemate Expected Hour, who had Patrick Husbands in the saddle.

Casse said Expected Hour, winner of the Victoria here first crack out but then second as the odds-on choice in the Colin, is a possibility for the $150,000 Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Aug. 15 but could remain here for the $86,400 Silver Deputy, an overnight handicap slated for Sept. 2. Both races are at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Kiss a Native works

Kiss a Native also worked five furlongs on the fast main track Saturday, going in 59.80 seconds under regular rider Mickey Walls while in company with stablemate Divine Luck, who had exercise rider Sarah Cohen aboard.

Canada's 3-year-old champion last year for owner John Franks and trainer David Bell, Kiss a Native is on target to make his first start since Oct. 27 in Sunday's $125,000 Seagram Cup.

Exciting Story, upset winner of Belmont's Met Mile this May for Mockingbird and Casse but unplaced in a subsequent try here on turf, also is headed for the 1 1/16-mile Seagram.

Bell also has a solid contender, Heliotrope, for Saturday's Grade 3 Royal North Handicap. Heliotrope was the Sovereign Award-winning turf female last season.

Heliotrope, who worked five furlongs in 1:01 under regular rider Neil Poznansky on the main track here last Sunday, has been assigned 121 pounds for the Royal North, a six-furlong turf race worth $125,000.

The 124-pound highweight and defending champion in the Royal North is Confessional, who is based in the Eastern U.S. with trainer Graham Motion but is scheduled to be here for an encore.

Bell sent out two winners here last Sunday, including the 2-year-old filly Lush Soldier.

A daughter of Lost Soldier owned and bred by Franks, Lush Soldier had performed disappointingly in three starts on the main track but was very impressive when switched to turf last Sunday.

Bell now will point the filly for the Grade 3, $125,000 Natalma, a one-mile turf race here Sept. 8.

* On Saturday, jockey Laurie Gulas celebrated the first winner of her comeback here, guiding Mr. Perpetuity to a $32.60 score for Stubbs Investments Inc. and trainer Rita Schnitzler. Gulas, 32, returned to action recently after missing almost 22 months because of head and neck injuries. Saturday's victory was the 296th of her career, the highlight of which was an upset aboard the filly Free Vacation here in the 1999 Breeders'.