04/05/2007 11:00PM

Prince of Wales appeal result due soon


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mike DePaulo is waiting for the phone to ring these days, hoping to hear good news regarding the outcome of the hearing on the 2006 Prince of Wales Stakes held by the Ontario Racing Commission last week.

Shillelagh Slew, trained by DePaulo for owner David James, finished second in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 16 but was awarded the first prize of $300,000 after the stewards found first-place finisher Malakoff guilty of interference.

The connections of Malakoff, who was demoted to fifth place, appealed the decision of the stewards to the ORC and the appeal was finally heard during the three-day span of March 28 through March 30.

In the meantime, the purse remains in limbo and Shillelagh Slew, who went on to be voted Canada's champion 3-year-old male, is gearing up for another season after checking back into Woodbine last Sunday.

"He went to Palm Meadows [Fla.] in mid-December, and had his first breeze on Feb. 11," said DePaulo.

"He's bigger and stronger than he's ever been. He's carrying good weight; he's firing on all cylinders. He's such a good work horse."

The Grade 3, $150,000 Vigil, a seven-furlong race for 4-year-olds and upward here April 28, is Shillelagh Slew's first major target.

"We want to show everyone he can run seven furlongs with good horses," said DePaulo. "It would improve his stallion value."

All being well, Shillelagh Slew would proceed from the Vigil to the Grade 3, $150,000 Eclipse, a 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and upward here May 21.

"After that, we'll make some decisions," said DePaulo.

No Queen's Plate for Easterman

The news is not as good regarding Easterman, the 3-year-old gelding who DePaulo hoped would be this year's version of Shillelagh Slew.

Easterman was an impressive winner when debuting in a seven-furlong maiden special here last November and headed south to Palm Meadows with an eye towards the Queen's Plate.

But Easterman finished seventh in his season debut at Gulfstream on March 3 and emerged from the race in less than perfect order.

"I'm pretty disappointed," said DePaulo. "He was one of the real reasons we went down there. I really think he's a nice horse."

Easterman is at Woodlands Farm for rest and recuperation. "He'll be there for three months," said DePaulo. "Hopefully, he'll be ready again in late summer, early fall."

DePaulo, coming off the best year of his career, has 36 stalls, up from his previous peak of 31 last season.

"I have a bunch of young horses, maybe 20 2-year-olds," he said. "I'm hoping they'll help us this year and, if not this year, they'll be a good 3-year-old crop for next year."

DePaulo also has three older horses for Cam Allard, for whom he is training for the first time.

Among them is Cuba, a New Jersey-bred 6-year-old horse who has won four races and placed in four graded stakes but has not seen action since September 2005.

Allard also owns Giant Act, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt who was a $330,000 yearling purchase. He was unplaced in his only two starts at Gulfstream in the winter of 2006.

Given Talent, a Maryland-bred 4-year-old colt who was a $100,000 yearling, is unraced.

Future bright for Day Phillips barn

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips, who wintered in Florida, wasn't too impressed with the unseasonably cold temperatures when she returned to Woodbine this week.

But at least Day Phillips can still entertain warming thoughts of Jambalaya, the 5-year-old gelding who put together a graded stakes double under jockey Javier Castellano at the Gulfstream Park meeting.

"He was so good," said Day Phillips. "He liked the turf there, and he got along with Castellano really well. Each time he ran, he seemed to improve. He blossomed after his first race; he got more confidence."

Jambalaya, wound up his 2006 campaign with a ninth-place finish over soft going in the 1 1/2-mile Canadian International here Oct. 22.

After finishing third in Gulfstream's Grade 3 Canadian Turf Handicap on Feb. 3, Jambalaya became a Grade 1 winner in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on Feb. 24 and came right back in the Grade 3 Pan American over 1 1/2 miles last Saturday.

"He's matured a little," said Day Phillips. "He was in very good shape last year. He was running well, but nothing really came together for him."

Jambalaya is getting a bit of a breather on the Day Phillips farm in Florida, but is scheduled to return to Woodbine within the next couple of weeks and could make his local season bow in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup, a 1 1/16-mile turf race on May 27.

"I don't think the cutback in distance is a big deal off a break," said Day Phillips. "He'll have had almost two months between races."

Day Phillips believes she has a promising 3-year-old filly in Parlour Time, who won her maiden in her second career start here last fall.

Parlour Time, bred by Kingview Farm, is nominated to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies here June 10.

"She's matured over the winter," said Day Phillips, who has 22 stalls here. "I hope she'll do well. She's ready to run.

"Actually, I have a bunch close to running, but the weather's been a little tricky."

Singh loses appeal

Jockey Sunny Singh's appeal of a suspension last fall was denied by the Ontario Racing Commission earlier this month and he will not be eligible to ride until May 21.

Singh, who had served a two-month suspension after testing positive for a prohibited substance last June 29, returned to the saddle in September but later violated the terms of a probationary order that required he abide by the rules of racing related to the use of alcohol, drugs, or medication.

The ORC did laud Singh's commitment to rehabilitation and ruled that he could be licensed as an exercise rider, groom, or hot walker while his suspension from race-riding is in effect.