07/14/2009 12:00AM

Plenty of upcoming races for Drunken Love


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Drunken Love, claimed for $62,500 here June 21, paid a quick dividend by capturing last Sunday's $50,000 Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial at Fort Erie.

Running for Tallyho Racing Ltd., a group headed by Frank Merrill Jr., Drunken Love was making his first start on grass for trainer Norm McKnight's barn in the five-furlong Wells Memorial.

Brad McKnight, the trainer's son and assistant, saddled Drunken Love at Fort Erie and is credited with being the man behind the 4-year-old gelding's acquisition.

"I'd been looking for a horse for them, and hadn't found anything that suited us," said Norm McKnight. "Brad picked him out, and brought him to my attention.

"We looked at races coming back for him, and decided that if he'd grass the race at Fort Erie would be a good spot to get some of the investment back."

The McKnights also had noted that Drunken Love would be eligible for both the $125,000 Shepperton, a 6 1/2-furlong Ontario-sired stakes race here Aug. 5, and the $125,000 Kenora, a six-furlong yearling sales stakes here Sept, 7.

Drunken Love had finished fourth in the Shepperton and second in the Kenora last year when trained by Terry Jordan.

"He seems to be in good form, and did well in those races last year," said McKnight. "If he could duplicate those two races, we might get lucky and get a piece of one of those."

McKnight nominated Boadini and Cataleenda for upcoming stakes here but neither is scheduled to participate.

Boadini, an Ontario-foaled 2-year-old, had closed strongly to miss by a nose in his debut over 4 1/2 furlongs here June 28 and was on the list for Saturday's $150,000 Colin, an open stakes at six furlongs.

"I think we'll duck this race," said McKnight, who hopes to run Boadini in a maiden turf race on the same card. "He had a work on the grass, and I was very pleased with it."

Boadini, breezing on the turf training course, was timed in 1:02.40 for five furlongs here last Sunday.

Cataleenda was clocked in 1:00.80 during the same turf training session, a move that didn't please McKnight. She is nominated to next Wednesday's $125,000 Passing Mood, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

"I don't think that's the plan after the way she worked the other day," said McKnight.

Cataleenda was successful in her last outing, which came in a restricted first-level allowance over 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

Shadowless to have knee surgery

Shadowless will not see action again this season.

"He hurt his knee, and he's going for surgery on Friday," said David Bell, who trains Shadowless. "It's fairly minor; other horses probably would just deal with it. But, the owner wants to do the best thing for the horse."

Bell suspects that Shadowless incurred the injury when finishing ninth in the Grade 3 Highlander over six furlongs of turf here June 21. In his prior start, Shadowless had won the prep for the Highlander over the same distance and surface.

"He went into that last race well, but didn't run his race, so we did some investigating and found something that wasn't right," said Bell.

Shadowless, an Ontario-foaled 4-year-old gelding, won the Grade 3 Kennedy Road over six furlongs of Polytrack in his final appearance here last season.

Shut It Down through for the year

Shut It Down has been sidelined for the season by a tendon injury.

A 3-year-old gelding conditioned by Lorne Richards, Shut It Down last saw action when seventh in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate here June 21.

"We thought he'd come out of the race good, and the day after he was looking better than he had before the Plate," said Richard, adding that the problem surfaced shortly thereafter.

Shut It Down, an Ontario-sired 3-year-old gelding, won the restricted Frost King over seven furlongs here last fall.

Grittani drills for Colin

Grittani, an impressive front-running winner of his second start over 4 1/2 furlongs on June 28, blew out three furlongs in 36 seconds here Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday's Colin.

Working under regular rider Constant Montpellier, Grittani went in company with Kwik Costa, who finished second in his five-furlong debut on June 21.

Both 2-year-olds are trained by John Ross for the Jam Jar Racing Stable of Bud and Jackie Reynolds.

Ross had taken the blinkers off Grittani after watching the colt open a long lead but weaken to finish second in his debut, which also came in a restricted maiden race at 4 1/2 furlongs.

"He's Ontario-sired, but he was just a tick off the record last time," said Ross of Grittani's clocking of 51.29. "He shouldn't look too shabby [in the Colin].

Southern Exchange established the 4 1/2-furlong track record of 51.23 in his debut here last May. He won the five-furlong Victoria and then the Colin in his next two starts.

"My horse is good right now," Ross said, "and when they're good you've got to run them."

Ross reports that Awesome Rhythm, who finished fourth of five when trying turf for the first time in last Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Toronto Cup, came out of the race well.

Awesome Rhythm, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old owned by Domenic Triumbari, had come into the Toronto Cup off three consecutive wins in two-turn Polytrack stakes here.

"He just didn't seem to bounce off the grass the way he does on Polytrack," said Ross.

With no immediate options here within his own age group, Ross might consider running Awesome Rhythm against older horses.

"We'll nominate him to the Seagram Cup, and see how that comes up," said Ross. "Or, we might want to look out of town. But, he sure does like the Polytrack here."

The Grade 3, $150,000 Seagram Cup, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run Aug. 3.