09/21/2005 11:00PM

Oh Mar, turf record holder, retired at age 9


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Oh Mar, the holder of the five-furlong turf course record at Fort Erie, is through with racing.

After finishing seventh and last in the fourth race Monday, a $5,000 claimer, Oh Mar, a 9-year-old gelding, was vanned from the track.

"It was a new problem, something he never had before," trainer Campbell Wilson said. "He's okay. He'll be a riding horse. Maybe even a stable pony one day."

Wilson bought Oh Mar privately for $3,000 four years ago at Oaklawn Park when the runner was a little past his prime.

"He was off for 10 months with a broken splint bone after I bought him," Wilson said. "He's won five races and close to $90,000 for me. He was a fun horse to be around."

Oh Mar won 13 races and was second 15 times in 70 lifetime starts, earning $221,263. The course record was set Sept. 9, 2002, when Oh Mar wired a 10-horse field and stopped the clock in 56.99 seconds.

Wilson, a 29-year-old native of nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario, has nine runners in his barn. The star is the Don Valliere Memorial Cup winner, Ontario Road. A 5-year-old gelding, Ontario Road followed that score with a third in the Parnitha Cup on Aug. 21.

The latest addition to the Wilson barn is the quarter-mile specialist Mr. Niner. New client Darryl Jackson claimed him from the two-furlong dash here Sept. 6. Mr. Niner entered that race having won his previous four starts, the last three at a quarter-mile.

Frankiefourfingers now a pony

Another recent retiree at the Fort is 5-year-old Frankiefourfingers.

In the hands of Fort Erie-based Ed Freeman, Frankiefourfingers had a sensational debut when he went to the races as a 2-year-old, capturing the $164,000 Clarendon Stakes at Woodbine in his first try. Thus he became the first stakes winner produced by Elusive Quality, who went on to sire Smarty Jones.

In his third start, after a second in the Juvenile Stakes at the Fort, Frankiefourfingers suffered an injury and missed all of 2003. He won one of five starts on his return to Fort Erie in 2004.

This year, after three unsuccessful tries at the $8,000 claiming level, Frankiefourfingers was dropped to $5,000 and scored. Nevertheless, he was claimed from the contest.

When Frankiefourfingers reappeared two weeks later, on Aug. 22, Ed Freeman claimed him back for $8,000 and promptly retired him. He had finished third.

Now, Frankiefourfingers is a pony in the hands of exercise rider Dara Hanriahan, a friend of Freeman's. Hanriahan said Frankiefourfingers "goes out six times a day to pony horses, and he is as happy as can be."

"He loves it," Hanriahan said. "He does whatever is asked of him. Nothing was wrong with him. He gave us all that he could possibly give every time he was asked. He deserves to have a good retirement."

Barton back at the Fort

Jockey Jake Barton, who has been riding at Hastings this year, returned to the Fort on Monday. He had been a regular here the previous two years.

"I need to ride more than two days a week. That's all they are racing at Hastings right now," said Barton, who had one win from seven starts on Monday and Tuesday.

Barton will be back at Hastings this Saturday. He has the mount on Timeless Passion, one of the favorites in the $250,000 B.C. Derby.