11/24/2006 12:00AM

One last chance to impress voters


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The balloting for the Sovereign Awards, which will be conducted online, opens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4. That means conscientious voters will be able to factor in the results of any races run by eligible candidates here in the coming week.

Next weekend's stakes features will be the Ontario Lassie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies; the Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds; and the Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

The Ontario Lassie, in particular, could have some bearing on the divisional picture. The race's leading candidates include Catch the Thrill and Quiet Action.

Catch the Thrill, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, is coming off a 2 1/2-length victory in the Oct. 21 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Quiet Action finished second in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth and in the Grade 3 Natalma, a one-mile turf race. Owned by Woodford Racing LLC and trained by Mark Casse, Quiet Action breezed five furlongs in 1:03 under regular rider Patrick Husbands here Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Casse will give Sealy Hill the rest of the year off instead of running her in the Ontario Lassie.

Sealy Hill, also owned by Woodford Racing, was a romping winner of last Sunday's Glorious Song, an open seven-furlong 2-year-old filly stakes at Woodbine.

"We'll look for something for her in January or February," said Casse. "I'm not sure whether she'll run at Gulfstream, Tampa, or in New Orleans. We'll have our eyes on next year's [Woodbine] Oaks."

Love You Crazy from debut win to stakes

Love You Crazy, owned by Four Board Stable and trained by Reade Baker, will be making just her second start when she runs in the Ontario Lassie. Consequently, she is not eligible for Sovereign Award consideration, which requires a horse to have made a minimum of three starts in Canada this year by the Sunday, Nov. 26, deadline.

In her debut, which came in a six-furlong "B" maiden special here Nov. 12, Love You Crazy cruised to a 4 3/4-length victory with Jim McAleney in the irons.

"I don't think the distance will be any problem at all," said Baker. "I love her stretching out. But I desperately needed to get a prep into her, which I didn't have time for."

Baker also has a contender for this Sunday's Bessarabian as Bosskiri, a multiple stakes winner of $403,529, is in the field of nine for the seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Bosskiri will be making her first start since going through this month's Keeneland sale, where she was purchased for $250,000 by the Harlequin Ranches of Dick Bonnycastle, who was buying out his previous partners.

"She's doing super," said Baker. "I don't know if seven furlongs is her best game, and it's a very competitive race, but I expect her to run well."

Husbands will ride Bosskiri for the first time. McAleney, who has ridden Bosskiri in eight of her 12 career starts, also is the regular rider of Ontario Fashion favorite Financingavailable.

Wilson takes day off after spill

Leading rider Emma-Jayne Wilson, who booked off following a spill midway through Thursday's card, was off her mounts here Friday.

"It's just precautionary," said Mike Luider, Wilson's agent, on Friday morning. "She said she could ride today, but it's her back, and you don't want to fool around with that.

"The X-rays were clean, but we'll probably do an MRI today," he said. "She's stiff this morning. She's a little bruised up from banging on the ground."

Wilson was aboard Garrets Gulch in the fifth race when Garrets Gulch clipped heels nearing the quarter pole, throwing Wilson to the racetrack.

Hall saying goodbye to commission

A farewell party was held here Friday for Ed Hall, who is retiring as director of Thoroughbred racing for the Ontario Racing Commission at the end of this month.

Hall, 70, started with the commission as a steward in 1975 and remained in that role until 1992, when he became director.

Hall's racing roots, however, trace back to 1950 when he began working as a groom and hotwalker at Greenwood. He also worked as an exercise rider and even had a brief career as a jockey, riding one horse in 1955.

Hall went on to be a member of the Ontario Jockey Club's starting gate crew from 1959 until 1965, and then spent the next 10 years working as a patrol judge, a placing judge, and in the race office.

"I've been very fortunate to come into work and be able to say I've enjoyed every day of it," said Hall. "I've enjoyed working with people, whether it's been on the frontside or the backstretch. I think I've always had a good rapport with the horsepeople."

Hall said he is not ruling out a return to the racing world in some capacity. "I'll wait and see what the spring holds," he said.