11/22/2002 12:00AM

Reflecting on '02, many a star lit up Western scene


The best performers in Canadian racing in 2002 will be honored at the Sovereign Awards on Dec. 7 in downtown Toronto, and while most of the trophies will be awarded to Ontario-based horses, there were plenty of outstanding runners in the western provinces this year.

Paul and Maryl Shatzko's homebred Shacane is a leading contender for Canada's top 3-year-old colt or gelding in a division that failed to yield a standout runner in Ontario this year.

A dark bay son of Washington stallion Jumron, Shacane won five of seven starts, banked over $153,000, and won three stakes races, including the Grade 3 Premiers Handicap over older runners on Oct. 20 at Hastings Park in Vancouver. Shacane is the first stakes winner bred by the Shatzkos' Bellevue Oaks, a 34-acre farm in Langley, British Columbia.

The Shatzkos owned Shacane's granddam, stakes winner White Moment, in partnership with breeder F.W. Arber and purchased the mare outright when she was retired to the breeding shed.

The couple owns three of White Moment's foals, including Shacane's dam, Jazz to Jazz, a daughter of Jazzing Around. Jazz to Jazz raced only once and was unplaced.

Jazz to Jazz's first two foals, both by On Target, are winners. Shacane, her third foal, is named for the auto racing term for a series of tight corners on a racetrack.

White Moment lives as a pensioner on Bellevue Oaks. Her 2-year-old filly, Moonlight Lady, will race for the Shatzkos in 2003.

The couple previously raced stakes winner El Tiare, winner of the 2000 Cover Girl Handicap at Hastings Park.

Shacane has a yearling half-sister by Skywalker named Skyhyla.

Juveniles a tough bunch

Canyon Farms' homebred Illusive Force was perhaps the best 2-year-old colt in British Columbia, but the overall juvenile male division in Canada is stronger than any other division.

A two-time stakes winner, Illusive Force is a tremendous advertisement for his young sire, Yoonevano, who has had only a handful of starters in 2002.

Yoonevano is an unraced son of Seattle Slew and a half-brother to Preakness winner Pine Bluff and Grade 1 winner Demons Begone. The horse stood the 2002 breeding season at Flying Horse Farm in British Columbia for a fee of $2,000.

Elana D'amour, a 3-year-old filly by leading British Columbia sire Vying Victor, was a five-time stakes winner in British Columbia and might have been headed for a Sovereign Award had she not finished 11th in the Grade 3 Ballerina Breeders' Cup to another 3-year-old, Grace for You.

Other noteworthy runners in western Canada in 2002 include Sixthirtyjoe, an Alberta-bred 4-year-old who won five stakes races at three different distances during the campaign.

The 5-year-old mare Grey Tobe Free, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 98 in her win in the Brighouse Belle Handicap at Hastings in July, won two other stakes races and had a better record that any older mare that raced in Ontario. Another multiple stakes winning mare was Full Scream Ahead, who won three stakes for the Aurora Stables.