09/11/2002 11:00PM

Rookie trainer already in record book


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Campbell Wilson has had his trainer's license for less than a year, but already he has put one of his runners into the Fort Erie record book.

On Monday, the Wilson-trained Oh Mar captured a five-furlong turf race in 56.80 seconds, breaking the record of 57.20 set by Plein D'Esprit in 1998 and since equaled by four runners.

The win was the sixth of the year for Wilson, who received his license late last September. The 26-year-old native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, sports a 27 percent win rate in 2002, and has had 22 starters.

Oh Mar, a 6-year-old, won for the third time since being purchased, along with three other horses, by Wilson at Oaklawn Park over the winter. Oh Mar's other wins were for $6,500 and $8,000 claiming.

Wilson said Oh Mar had a history of breaking slowly, but that jockey Tyler Gaskin has figured out how to break the horse more quickly.

"I thought he would do real well," said Wilson about Oh Mar. "He really started showing a lot of early speed three starts ago.

"The horse is right mentally now - he really wants to run. He's a real good horse when he has confidence and it's really high now."

Wilson said the season is over for Oh Mar. He doesn't want to risk hurting Oh Mar, who has had 11 starts this year.

"The horse told me," said the trainer. "When I first had him he would bounce back, feeling good, after two or three days. Now it takes five or six days to get all the stinging out of his bones and stuff.

"He's my best horse and I think he could be a real good one if he has a good winter."

Wilson has been an exercise rider since he was 18. He took riding lessons from the ages of 10 to 15, and his desire was to be a jockey but he grew too big.

Wilson was able to get winter work at Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, and Arkansas. One of his work stints was as an assistant for New York-based Tom Skiffington.

Quick turnaround for Single in Seattle

Trainer David Schmidt has no problem running back his 8-year-old mare Single in Seattle in a mile turf race on Saturday, even though she ran second at 1 1/16 miles on Monday.

"She's only run 10 times in three years," explained Schmidt. "She's sound, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with her. I've only run her four times this year. I'm enticed to run because the turf season is coming to an end.

"She's been scratched two or three times [because the races were taken off the turf]. Before Monday, she hadn't raced since Aug. 5. In those 36 days, I just breezed her once."

Single in Seattle is 8 for 23 with five seconds on the grass, but she is 0 for 19 on the dirt with just one second-place finish.

* Not only has the turf course been playing faster than normal for the past month, but the dirt track also has produced very quick times. The main track was resurfaced on Aug. 21. Ten days later, Exclusive Run, trained by Mycke Neubauer, won a 6 1/2-furlong race in 1:16.05, the fastest time for that distance in at least four years.