11/25/2009 12:00AM

Richards unhappy with year


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - While the raw statistics don't look bad, it's fair to say that trainer Lorne Richards isn't particularly happy with his stable's output this season.

"It's been a pretty lousy year," said Richards, who relocated here from Vancouver in 2001 as the private trainer for K.K. Sangara. "Numbers-wise it looks decent, but those wins were in a lot of cheap races."

Richards was heading into the last two weeks of the meeting with a record of 15 wins and 29 in-the-money finishes from 58 starts, producing percentages comparable to previous seasons.

The barn has been on a bit of a roll recently, with back-to-back wins from Sharp Secretary and singles from Orientate Slew and Conflicting Report in the past couple of weeks.

The downside for the meeting comes in the earnings column, where the Richards stable has put up $384,608, a far cry from his recent campaigns here, including 2006 when he earned $1,075,530.

"It's been kind of a rebuilding year," Richard said. "We've got some nice young horses for next year, and we've got a bunch that ran only once or twice. We'll try to sort things out."

Richards had 10 horses here through most of the meeting, with the vast majority racing for Sangara. But he recently has picked up a new client in Keith Johns, who hails from Edmonton, Alberta.

"He's got some decent horses," Richards said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to find some spots for them here."

Richards, who was to send out his first starter for Johns on Thursday and has Dancingall the Way in the entries for Sangara on Friday, will be looking to run several more horses before the meet winds up next Sunday.

The trainer then will be heading to Florida along with his wife and co-worker, Sandra.

"We've got half a dozen going to Mark Casse's farm in Florida," Richards said. "They'll get a bit of a break. We don't plan to race down there."

When the stabling area opens here in February, assistant trainer Laura DeLory and her husband, exercise rider and jockey Carl Defreitas, will start getting things rolling with another group here.

"They'll have half a dozen to open up with," Richards said.

Milwaukee Appeal shipping for Gazelle

Milwaukee Appeal, who is a leading candidate for a Sovereign Award in the 3-year-old filly division, has shipped to Aqueduct for Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Gazelle.

Owned and bred by Eugene George and trained by Scott Fairlie, Milwaukee Appeal finished second in the seven-furlong Jammed Lovely here Nov. 14 and will be stretching back out for the 1 1/8 mile Gazelle.

"We had this in the back of our minds, but we wanted to see how she came out of her last race," Fairlie said. "She came out real good."

This is the second trip to New York for Milwaukee Appeal, who finished a distant second behind fellow Woodbine shipper Careless Jewel in Saratoga's Grade 1 Alabama at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 22.

John Velazquez was aboard for the Alabama and regains the mount on Milwaukee Appeal for the Gazelle.

Rahy's Attorney, Simmard at Churchill

Woodbine-based Rahy's Attorney and Simmard have both checked into Churchill Downs for Friday's Grade 3 River City Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

Rahy's Attorney, trained by Ian Black, will be ridden by Robert Landry, who also piloted Simmard in his last start. Trained by Roger Attfield, Simmard will have Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons for the River City.

Attfield runners work for Sir Barton

Society's Chairman and Sand Cove, both trained by Attfield, breezed five furlongs here Wednesday morning in preparation for next Wednesday's Sir Barton Stakes.

Chantal Sutherland was aboard Society's Chairman, who went in 1:00.40, while regular rider Richard Dos Ramos guided Sand Cove through his 1:01 move.

Attfield will be seeking his 15th stakes win of the meeting in the $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up.

And while the Sir Barton will be the last stakes of the meeting for the Attfield barn, the trainer will finish on top in that category for the meet as Malcolm Pierce, his closest pursuer with 13 stakes wins, has wound up his local operation for the season.

Pierce, who is racing at Fair Grounds, compiled a record of 39 wins, 22 seconds, and 25 thirds for earnings of $2.7 million from 191 starts here this year.

Sovereign Awards media finalists named

Jennifer Morrison, a freelance contributor to Daily Racing Form, is among this year's Sovereign Awards media finalists.

Three finalists (four in the case of ties) were announced in the feature story, newspaper article, photograph, and film/video/broadcast categories by the Jockey Club of Canada on Wednesday afternoon.

Morrison's story "Lindros and Impropriety" appeared on the website Horse-Canada.com in September and is a feature story finalist. The others are Bruce Walker (Canadian Thoroughbred, Queen's Plate souvenir edition, June) and Perry Lefko (Down the Stretch, September).

Lefko also is shortlisted in the newspaper category (Down the Stretch, January) along with Curtis Stock (Edmonton Journal, September), Eleanor Yeoman LeBlanc (Down the Stretch, September), and Keith McCalmont (Down the Stretch, July).

The outstanding photograph finalists are Michael Burns Jr. (Canadian Thoroughbred, October), Michael Burns Photography (Canadian Thoroughbred, July), Peter Gross (Down the Stretch, April), and Dave Landry photography (Canadian Thoroughbred, March).

Woodbine Entertainment Group's broadcast department's "The Queen's Plate - History, Heritage and Hope," which appeared on CBC television in June, is among the film/video/broadcast finalists.

HorseRacing Alberta and Whiteiron Productions, for its Canadian Derby production in August, and Tom Wolkski, for an episode of his Vancouver-based "Sport of Kings," are the others.

* Woodbine Entertainment Group is now making race replays available for free viewing on YouTube for up to five days after each card. The account code "WEGReplays" provides access to Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.