09/28/2004 11:00PM

Passero picks horses over antiques

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Frank Passero has kept a low profile since returning to the training game this summer following a year's absence.

But that could be about to change as Passero, at age 71, is gearing up for a winter at Gulfstream Park.

Passero has spent many a pleasant winter at Gulfstream, where his accomplishments include his record-breaking meeting in 1996, when he saddled the winners of 14 consecutive races.

"Presently, I have six horses for Florida," said Passero, noting that Colebrook Farm and John MacKenzie were among his clients. "I'm looking for more now."

Passero spent the last year as the proprietor of Passero's Antiques, Fine Furniture & Collectibles, located in nearby Schomberg.

But with that business now running smoothly in the hands of Passero's wife, Sharon, and daughter, Lisa, the training game again beckoned.

Passero claimed Sweet Storm Creek for $75,000 here July 9, and the 4-year-old filly has recorded a third-place finish from three allowance starts for owner William Robbins.

On July 22, Passero claimed One Only Knows, another 4-year-old filly, for $40,000 and then watched her win back-to-back races for $50,000 and $62,500 for Colebrook Farm.

One Only Knows was claimed by K-5 Stable, and is entered in Saturday's $65,000 Matron Breeders' Cup at Assiniboia Downs.

Sweet Storm Creek and One Only Knows represent the sum total of Passero's statistics this season - two wins and a third from five starts and earnings of $83,491.

Jambalar gets in light

Jambalar, a long-winded 4-year-old gelding trained by David Bell, is heading for Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Sky Classic Handicap over 1 3/8 miles of turf.

Bell, who conditions Jambalar for Dick and Jo Ellen Shaw, said Jambalar is still eligible for a two-other-than allowance but no suitable races were available in Woodbine's condition book.

"He needs to go long, and there's nothing for him in the book," Bell said. "He's just one of those horses who's doing real well right now."

Jambalar was weighted at 107 pounds for the Sky Classic, and Bell has engaged apprentice rider Corey Fraser in an attempt to make the most of the impost.

"Getting in light enough at a mile and three-eighths could give you an edge," said Bell.

Shanghied pointed to Ontario Derby

Shanghied, a recent addition to the Bell barn, is slated to make his local debut in the $150,000 Ontario Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds on Oct. 10.

A Kentucky-bred colt by A.P. Indy, Shanghied began his career with trainer Bill Mott in New York but was purchased privately by Robert Mitchell and was based at Assiniboia Downs this year with trainer Bert Blake.

Shanghied won 4 of 5 starts in Winnipeg, including the six-furlong Golden Boy, 1 1/16-mile Derby Trial, and the 1 1/8-mile Harry Jeffrey. His lone defeat came in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby, where he finished third.

"He seems to have shipped in well; he's training well," said Bell.

"It's time to come and try the big leagues and see whether he fits or not."

Carotene next for Black Rock Road

Bell also plans to be represented in the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies on Oct. 9. In the Carotene, Black Rock Road will be seeking her third win in as many races.

A homebred owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, Black Rock Road won her debut over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf here Aug. 22 and a first-level allowance when facing older rivals over a mile of grass on Sept. 26.

"She's going to go a little farther again," said Bell. "It shouldn't bother her at all."

'Clouds' second at Mountaineer

Jockey Jono Jones was at Mountaineer Race Track on Tuesday night to ride the Woodbine-based Clouds of Gold, who finished second in the $75,000 Autumn Leaves, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.

"She ran a big race," said trainer Ken Parsley, who also is a co-owner of Clouds of Gold along with the Valiant Stable. "It was a tough field."

Clouds of Gold, a 5-year-old, has won 4 of 19 career starts, finishing in the money 12 times while collecting $284,890.

Kissed by a Prince, a stakes winner in each of her two campaigns for trainer Mike DePaulo, also was slated to ship to West Virginia for the Autumn Leaves but did not make the trip after experiencing a minor setback.

DePaulo was at Mountaineer last Friday with Krz Ruckus, a multiple-stakes-winning 7-year-old gelding who finished fourth in a $47,000 open allowance race at six furlongs.

Turf co-features Friday

Friday's 10-race card attracted a total of 117 horses, including six also-eligibles and one main-track-only entrant.

A pair of optional claiming races, both scheduled for seven furlongs on turf, make up the late double.

Super Case, who chased Soaring Free in his last couple, should appreciate the company in the ninth race, a third-level allowance with an $80,000 claiming option.

Dalavin, a beaten favorite in his last start when it was taken off the grass, gets back to his preferred surface in the 10th race, a second-level allowance with a $62,500 claiming option.

* Jockey Constant Montpellier and agent Kelly Regan have parted company. Montpellier will be booking his own mounts for at least the time being while Regan is in the market for a rider.