09/03/2007 11:00PM

New faces in stakes winner's circle


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Monday's yearling sales stakes brought plenty of fresh blood to the stakes winner's circle here at Woodbine.

The winners of five of the six $125,000 stakes on the program were recording their first stakes victory, and the trainers of those five were recording their first stakes score of the meeting.

In the case of Albert Schembri, who sent out Simple Sister to win the seven-furlong Muskoka for 2-year-old fillies, the stakes win was not just his first of the meeting but the first of a training career that began in 1996.

Simple Sister recently has been the only horse based here with Schembri, who had sent his other two runners home when he was forced to move out of his sales barn stalls to make room for the yearling sale stock.

Simple Sister, owned by the syndicate No Comprende Racing, was a $62,000 buyback at last year's select yearling sale.

"I liked her family," said Schembri, noting that Simple Sister is a full sister to the multiple -stakes-placed Kabul. "Kabul was always tough; I like toughness in a horse."

Simple Sister was making her fifth start in the Muskoka and coming off a third-place finish in the open Ontario Debutante.

"Right now, she's growing in spurts," said Schembri, who sent Simple Sister to the farm Tuesday. "We'll give her two or three weeks off.

"She'll go long, and she'll run on turf."

Owner gets first stakes win

Don's Folly, a 2-year-old colt who gave trainer Mike DePaulo his first stakes win of the meeting in the seven-furlong Simcoe for 2-year-old colts and geldings, was the first stakes winner for owner Don Cole.

Purchased for $45,000 at the select sale, Don's Folly brought Cole back into the racing game following a 10-year absence.

"He was the only horse we bid on," Cole said. "I've had some winners before, but never one like this one."

Don's Folly was making his third start in the Simcoe after winning his five-furlong debut and finishing second in the six-furlong Vandal.

"I never thought he'd sprint," DePaulo said. "I was hoping seven furlongs would suit him, and it sure did."

DePaulo now will be aiming Don's Folly to the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds here Oct. 14.

"I've been dying to try him on grass at some point," DePaulo said.

Stonetown wins stakes debut

Stonetown made his stakes debut and first start around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Elgin for colts and geldings and gave trainer Abraham Katyran his first stakes win in more than two years.

"I wasn't surprised he kicked on like that," said Katryan. "He'd been training well for the last month; he hadn't missed a beat. He keeps coming around."

Stonetown, a 4-year-old gelding, is Ontario-sired and could return in the next restricted race for his division, the seven-furlong Overskate here Sept. 19.

Equipment change aids My Imperial Dancer

My Imperial Dancer won his first stakes and became the first stakes winner since 2003 for trainer Norm McKnight when he captured the Halton over one mile of turf.

A 5-year-old gelding owned by J.M. Stritzl Stable, My Imperial Dancer came into the Halton off a third-place finish in an Ontario-sired allowance over 1 1/16 miles of turf.

McKnight had taken the blinkers off My Imperial Dancer that day and believes that equipment change was the key to his success in the Halton.

"He'd been too strong on the front," McKnight said. "The key was getting him to relax.

"He came out of his last race well, and trained great into this race. He's been acting great all week."

The Bunty Lawless, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here Oct. 28, will be My Imperial Dancer's next major target.

Lake Secret gets stakes win in 30th start

The 5-year-old gelding Lake Secret was the most experienced of the new stakes winners as he captured the six-furlong Kenora in his 30th start.

Lake Secret also was the first stakes winner for trainer Vito Armata since spring 2004.

"I was overdue," said Armata, who trains Lake Secret for his sister-in-law Frances Scala.

Lake Secret came into the Kenora off a third-place finish in a third-level optional claimer in which the victorious Morada set a track record for 6 1/2 furlongs. After forcing the pace in the optional claimer, Lake Secret opened a clear lead in the Kenora and was never seriously threatened.

"Speed was good; it was his kind of track," Armata said. "He ran a huge race. No one was going to go by him the way he was going."

The Kenora was Lake Secret's ninth start of the meeting.

"I'm giving him a little break now," Armata said.

Arden Belle wins third stakes of season

Going against Monday's prevailing theme was Arden Belle, who notched her third stakes win of the season in the 1 1/16-mile Algoma for fillies and mares. She was coming off a win in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here Aug. 19.

Arden Belle still represents the underdog faction, however, as she is the only stakes winner for her trainer Ron Sadler, jockey Matt Moore, and owner Salt and Pepper Stable.

"We ran her back boom, boom - so quick," said Sadler.

"She's due for a little bit of a breather. We'll see how she is for a couple of days, then make a plan."

Waveline set for North American debut

Waveline checked in from England late Monday afternoon and is scheduled to make her North American debut in Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000 Natalma.

Emile Ramsammy has the mount on Waveline for the Natalma, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Waveline was bred in California by her owner, Paul Reddam, and was unplaced in two starts in England. She is slated to return to California following the Natalma.