11/07/2005 12:00AM

Patience in Colonial Surprise pays off

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Can Ihavethisdance (right), winning Saturday's River Memories, will be up for auction Wednesday at Keeneland as a racing or broodmare prospect.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Nick DeToro has had to display plenty of patience this year as the owner and trainer of Colonial Surprise.

DeToro, 78, was rewarded when Colonial Surprise became a stakes winner here Saturday in the $153,175 Ontario Fashion under a spirited ride by Eurico Rosa da Silva.

Colonial Surprise, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old mare, had concluded her 2004 campaign with a sixth-place finish here in the Nov. 28 Bessarabian Handicap. But, despite being here since this spring, Colonial Surprise did not get back to the races until Sept. 2.

"She always had minor setbacks," said DeToro. "She'd either have a sore back or get a touch of the flu or some congestion. Just when I thought I'd have her ready to go she'd come up with some other little thing and I'd have to back off. Or I'd get her ready, and put her in a race, and it wouldn't go. Then by the time I got her ready for another race, she'd come up with something else. So, we just kept working on her."

Colonial Surprise finished a bang-up third when she did resurface under fourth-level allowance terms, and DeToro began searching for another spot.

"There were a few races for her condition, but they didn't go," said DeToro. "So, I just thought I'd train her up to this race. That's what I did, and I'm happy with the way she ran."

The Ontario Fashion was the first stakes win for DeToro since he sent out Cafe Dancer to win the Harry A. Hindmarsh here in the fall of 2000.

Colonial Surprise, meanwhile, is nominated to the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf here Saturday and is a candidate for the seven-furlong Bessarabian here Dec. 3.

"I could run her in the Maple Leaf. She's fit and ready to go," said DeToro. "But I don't think I will. I'm going to prime her up for the Bessarabian."

In the wake of the Ontario Fashion, DeToro already has received inquiries from prospective purchasers south of the border.

"Anything you plan in this business, most times it doesn't work out," said DeToro, who also sent out When in Rome to score in a $40,000 conditioned claimer on Saturday's program. "But, I am planning on selling her."

Can Ihavethisdance up for sale

Can Ihavethisdance, who registered her first stakes score here in Saturday's $110,000 River Memories under an energetic ride by Ray Sabourin, is up for auction at Keeneland on Wednesday as a racing and/or broodmare prospect.

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly, Can Ihavethisdance is owned by her trainer, Mark Casse, in partnership with Bill Farish Jr.

"She's really well bred," said Casse, noting that Can Ihavethisdance's dam, Duo Disco, was a multiple stakes winner of more than $450,000 and already has produced stakes winners Misspitch and Big Baby Bear. "Now, with her being a stakes winner, she's probably going to be worth much more money than she is as anything else."

The River Memories originally was scheduled to be one of two turf stakes on the final weekend of grass racing at the meeting, but Woodbine announced late Friday that the course was closed for the season.

Can Ihavethisdance was coming into the River Memories off a closing second-place finish under third-level allowance terms at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Although Casse was not unhappy to see the River Memories come off the turf, he said he believes that Can Ihavethisdance would have acquitted herself just as well on turf.

"I think she would have run well on the grass," said Casse. "We would have employed a different kind of running style.

"She ran really well the last time, " he said. "When we rated her, she came running. That's what we were going to do on the grass. But there was no speed in this race when it came off the turf, so we went back to the way she'd been running. In all honesty, all year long she hadn't trained very well, until the last couple of weeks. Her breeze before this race was the best she's breezed all year, maybe the best she's breezed in her life."

Casse's barn has been on a roll recently, registering five wins last week, and should see plenty of action over the final five weeks of the meeting.

"We still have a lot to run," said Casse. "We still have a full barn; we're still firing."

Prospective stakes runners include Noshameinmygame and Top Notch Lady in the seven-furlong Glorious Song for 2-year-old fillies here Nov. 20; Seaside Retreat and Top Authority in the 1 1/16-mile Display for 2-year-olds on Nov. 26; and Arch Hall in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward on Nov. 27.