09/17/2003 11:00PM

Princess's Bay only winner in filly stakes


FORT ERIE, Ontario - The final two stakes of the Fort Erie meeting, which is scheduled to end Nov. 11, will be held this weekend.

They are the two $75,000 Juvenile Stakes, restricted to 2-year-olds who were offered at one of Woodbine's open yearling sales or 2-year-olds in training sales.

The first of the six-furlong stakes, on Saturday, is for fillies. The colts and geldings get their turn Sunday.

Princess's Bay, who won her maiden Aug. 16 by 9 1/2 lengths in a $50,000 claimer at Woodbine, dwarfs her six rivals - all maidens - here Saturday.

Princess's Bay earned a Beyer Figure of 66 for her victory, matching the figure she ran on July 6 when she finished second in a maiden special at Woodbine.

The second-best Beyer in the field, a 52, belongs to La Salle Glory, who finished fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths, on Sept. 6 at Woodbine in her only start.

Besides Princess's Bay, trainer Steve Owens has entered Seattle Lottery. They will be coupled in the betting.

Seattle Lottery's only start was Sept. 13 at Woodbine. She had to check, and she beat just one runner in a field of 12 at one mile on the turf.

Racing canceled for third time

For the third time this season, racing was canceled here Tuesday.

As in the other two cancellations, the afternoon provided ideal conditions for racegoers - sunny skies and warm temperatures. Fans, on arrival, expressed disbelief and disappointment.

The May 12 program was canceled in midmorning after track management urged the jockeys to make an early decision on whether they would ride that afternoon. Weather forecasts had warned of strong winds continuing into the afternoon, but those conditions didn't materialize.

Racing director Herb McGirr said the reason for the early cancellation that day was to give customers and simulcast partners sufficient notice.

The second cancellation, on Aug. 12, was made after the running of the first race. Heavy rain late in the afternoon of the previous day had left the track very sloppy.

The jockeys had some early misgivings in the morning and monitored the progress of the surface's recovery. With ideal weather conditions, the jockeys took a vote and decided to ride on the fast-drying but still off surface. Only one rider dissented.

At the eighth pole in the first race, one runner, Cash Clara, broke a leg and went down. That was it for the day.

After heavy rain this Monday, the jockeys suggested that the track not open for morning training on Tuesday, McGirr said, so that there would be more time to prepare the surface for the day's racing.

At about 11:30 a.m., a group of jockeys arrived to scrutinize progress. A lengthy inspection took place.

By a majority vote in a secret ballot - overseen by an Ontario Racing Commission steward, the racing director, and the executive director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association - the jockeys decided not to ride, deeming conditions unsafe.

With less than a half-hour to the 1:05 p.m. post time, the races were canceled.

The racing commission is in the midst of inspecting all racetrack surfaces in the province to ensure that they are safe for both humans and horses.

'Wolfie' comes close to a win

Get Down Wolfie, seventh of nine in the Puss N Boots Stakes here Sept. 1, journeyed to Maryland on Wednesday and finished second in the feature race at Pimlico at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Gina Powell, who owns and trains Get Down Wolfie, has had little luck finding spots for her runner, who won the 2002 Puss N Boots.

Get Down Wolfie, the longest shot in Wednesday's race at 25-1, took over the lead in early stretch but was unable to hold off the 3-2 winner and was beaten three-quarters of a length.