07/20/2005 11:00PM

New locale working out for Maynard

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FORT ERIE, Ontario - After two years with no wins, trainer Desmond Maynard will be seeking his 10th win of the year on Saturday when he saddles Shoreman in the sixth race at Fort Erie.

Maynard was licensed in 1998 while he was at Woodbine. He moved his operation here this spring after being blanked the past two seasons at the Toronto track.

"It was awful, very bad," said Maynard. "I had few stalls. But I did some freelance galloping. That's what saved me."

Maynard had 21 starters in 2003 and 32 last year. One third-place finish was his best result. The banner year for Maynard was 2000, when he won nine times.

The previous year, he picked out San Mont Andreas from the yearling sale for client Ron Christman. In his first start, San Mont Andreas scored a huge upset in the Clarendon Stakes, paying $53.30. In his second start he was second in the Bull Page Stakes. A victory in the Vandal followed. Then chips in the knee sidelined the colt for the balance of the season.

In the voting for Canadian champion 2-year-old colt or gelding, San Mont Andreas finished second. He returned the following year and added the Bold Ruckus Stakes to his resume.

Maynard, 40, was recruited by the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association from Barbados when Woodbine was experiencing a shortage of grooms in 1989. Maynard, who grew up near a stable for polo horses, rode his first horse when he was 9. It wasn't long after his arrival that he started to gallop runners at Woodbine. He served stints with trainers Conrad Belaire, Mort Hardy, and Tino Attard.

Sitting in sixth place in the standings, Maynard now has 19 horses in his barn. He started the meet with eight runners.

Apprentice hitting it off

Apprentice jockey Happy Ando moved his tack from Woodbine to the Fort last week, and on his first day at his new base, Saturday, he scored a hat trick.

Ando, 25, had but four victories at Woodbine this year while riding from Wednesdays to Sundays. On the dark days, Mondays and Tuesdays, he was at the Fort, where he picked up nine tallies.

Ando has been named to ride six of the eight races on Saturday. Going into the card he has 12 wins from 60 starts, for a win rate of 20 percent. He is ninth in the standings.

A native of Tokyo, Ando emigrated to England when he was 18. his first employer, the owner of a farm for broodmares, sent Ando to nearby Newmarket to attend jockey school.

After three months there, he was sent to exercise horses for high-profile trainer John Gosden, who two years later was instrumental in getting Ando to settle in Canada.

"I wanted to go to the U.S., but it was very hard to get papers," said Ando. "John's wife, a lawyer, said it's easy for Japanese to go to Canada."

Ando's first jobs here were with Roger Attfield and Phil England.

The Fort's leading trainer, Nick Gonzalez, said of Ando: "He's a nice, bright, upbeat kid who looks like he has future. He's not afraid of work.

"So we're going to throw him a bone to take the weight off some of the horses here as it gets hotter into the summer, and as the races get longer."

Ando is a natural lightweight, at 108 pounds.