07/08/2003 12:00AM

New owner for Third Day


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Third Day will be sporting new colors when he runs in Sunday's six-furlong Colin Stakes at Woodbine.

Trainer Mark Casse, who sent out Third Day to win the five-furlong Victoria in his debut for Gaillardia Racing here June 14, said a deal was finalized Monday and the colt will contest the $125,000 Colin for Earle Mack.

Based in New Jersey, Mack is prominent in the real estate development business and has held far-flung interests in Thoroughbred racing.

But he has been particularly successful with some of his private purchases here, including several Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Mack was the sole owner of Peteski, winner of the 1993 Canadian Triple Crown, and the co-owner of both Bruce's Mill and Cryptocloser, who finished second in their respective Queen's Plates of 1994 and 1997, and then won the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

Third Day, however, is a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old colt by Distorted Humor - the sire of Funny Cide and Awesome Humor - who was purchased for $45,000 at the Ocala sales last August.

"The horse has that huge potential, just because of his sire," said Casse, who will continue to train Third Day.

Casse admits he was not that keen on running Third Day in the Victoria. And the colt did not actually win the race, finishing a closing second but being promoted to the top spot upon the disqualification of Gemini Dream.

"I thought five-eighths might be a little short for him, and it was," said Casse. "It takes him a while to get going, but once he does he has a beautiful stride."

Casse also points out that Third Day was hindered when he had to steady to avoid Stormthebarricade, who went down in the incident that led to the disqualification.

"That stopped his momentum," said Casse. "Once he got rolling again, he was catching [Gemini Dream], and he galloped out past him."

And while Casse acknowledges that the Colin distance still might be on the short side for Third Day, he at least can foresee a more favorable pace scenario.

"There seems to be a lot of speed in the race, and that suits us well," he said. "At three-quarters, they shouldn't be going quite as fast early and they won't get away from him."

That speed should come in the form of San Diego Blowout, who was an impressive winner of his five-furlong debut here June 28, and Gemini Dream, who will be making his first start since the Victoria.

Gigawatt to West Virginia Derby

Casse also reports that Gigawatt, the talented 3-year-old colt whom he trains for Stonerside Stable, is being pointed for the Grade 3, $600,000 West Virginia Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 9.

Gigawatt won the 1 1/16-mile Display in his last start here at 2 but developed a severe foot problem last winter and did not return to action until June 22. The colt was an impressive winner that day, defeating older rivals in a second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

Lil Personalitee takes plunge

Stakes winner Lil Personalitee will drop sharply in class to take on $50,000 claimers here in Thursday's third race.

Lil Personalitee captured last year's Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap while beating a strong field, which included 2001 Canadian champions A Fleets Dancer and Win City. He won two other races in 2002, and compiled $253,181 in earnings.

Lil Personalitee has been off the board in four starts this year, including an eighth-place finish in the Eclipse. Trainer John Cardella tried him on the turf three weeks ago in an $80,000 optional claimer, in which Lil Personalitee finished nearly five lengths in arrears in eighth.

Patrick Husbands will ride Lil Personalitee, who has lots of speed to chase in this 1 1/16-mile race.

Solihull preps for Prince of Wales

Solihull worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 under jockey Dino Luciani here Tuesday and is on target for an appearance in the July 20 Prince of Wales.

Solihull, owned by the Beclawat Stable of Les Pereira and trained by David Bell, finished sixth in the $1 million Queen's Plate, the 1 1/4-mile opening leg of the Canadian Triple Crown here June 22.

Wando, the nine-length winner that day, will be a prohibitive favorite in the $500,000 Prince of Wales, the 1 3/16-mile race which is the second leg of the Canadian Triple.

Other Plate entrants who are candidates for the Prince of Wales are Shoal Water, Arco's Gold, and possibly Peef.

Gavro, owned by Knob Hill Stable and trained here by Alec Fehr, also is Wales-bound.

Still a maiden after four starts, Gavro finished third in the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf here last fall but was well-beaten this spring in his only main track appearance.

* It didn't take long for apprentice rider Sunny Singh to rediscover his groove. Singh, who had been sidelined since May 2 after suffering a broken collarbone in a spill here, returned last Friday and was back in the winner's circle Saturday after guiding Whiskey Sour to victory in the fifth race.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink