10/04/2007 11:00PM

One-day bias worth noting

EmailFORT ERIE, Ontario - A severe track bias suddenly arrived for last Monday's races here at Fort Erie, and many handicappers were taken by surprise.

Throughout the year there have been a few days where the track favored inside runners, outside runners, closers, or speedballs, but on balance the surface has been fair.

Monday was party day for the front-runners, and come-from-behind types were consistently left in the dust.

The bias was far beyond the norm. Speedy longshots made their way into a number of payoffs, and for those handicappers wise enough to note the surface bias after the first few races, it was a make-money day.

A track bias has always been a favorite key for any serious handicapper, at least on dirt surfaces like Fort Erie's. Here are some of the goodies that went the way of speed handicappers on Monday:

* Rocky's Dilemma led to late stretch, placed at 32-1, and set off a $2,800 tri and $4,800 super with three other speed types completing the top four.

* Lucky Cielo (76-1) led and opened a gap, then placed, setting off a $160 exactor.

* Deerstalker (22-1) led and then placed for a $178 exactor.

* Closers that ran well against the bias included Don't Tell Bob, Sagette, and Comealong.

Turf racing extended

Tom Gostlin, racing secretary for Fort Erie, will be posting a number of turf extras for the next two weeks.

"We don't usually race on the turf in October, but the weather has been excellent, and with the rain of last week, the turf course is in top condition," said Gostlin.

In the past, turf races have attracted full fields here at the Fort, so if the weather holds, some competitive grass races should be on the daily cards as the season rolls to an end.

Gostlin noted that the horse population has dropped to around 600 as trainers move their stock to other venues for the winter.

Working with a maximum of around 850 horses on the grounds this year, Gostlin has done an excellent job of creating competitive fields all year long.

"I have to thank all the horsemen for their cooperation in filling the entry box day after day," said Gostlin.