07/09/2001 11:00PM

Ross barn heating up


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer John Ross made some waves last Friday at Woodbine, when he saddled Indian Dan to an upset victory over heavily favored Lucky Old Sun and Swedespin in a one-mile allowance on the grass.

Indian Dan paid $47.60, and helped create a rare three-out-of-four payoff in the Win 4, which returned $263.30.

It was Indian Dan's first try on the grass, but he had a license to enjoy the unfamiliar footing because he's a full-brother to Lynclar, a stakes performer on both surfaces.

Ross pointed out that Indian Dan was making his first start as a gelding in the race. He said he entered Indian Dan as a gelding, but the horse showed up as a colt in the track program.

Ross said he will probably run Indian Dan back Aug. 8 in the $100,000-guaranteed Vice Regent Stakes, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

After a slow beginning to the meet, Ross has begun to heat up lately and looks to be well on to his way to having a lucrative year. He is excited about his unbeaten 2-year-old Shaws Creek, who won both of his races within just six days, the most recent of which was the June 30 Clarendon Stakes. Shaws Creek earned an impressive Beyer Speed Figure of 84 in the Clarendon, a 5 1/2-furlong dash for Canadian-breds.

"It was disappointing the way things started out," he said, "but maybe we've got some momentum now."

You'll not see nothing . . .

Trainer Malcolm Pierce also has a Canadian-bred juvenile with some potential, Mighty Quinn, who overcame a troubled break to capture his July 1 debut in a five-furlong maiden special by a half-length in a time of 1:01.20.

"You wouldn't be impressed with the time of the race," Pierce said, "but the times were slow that day, and I liked the way he did it. He got left at the gate, made a big move in the middle, and was game at the end."

Pierce's theory that Mighty Quinn's race may be better than it appears on paper was justified when the third-place finisher, Nowyouseeit, came back to beat a strong field of maidens by four lengths last Sunday.

Mighty Quinn, a son of Tethra, cost $57,000 at the 2000 Canadian Breeders Sales select yearling auction. "He's Ontario-sired, Canadian-bred, and eligible for the Yearling Sales Stakes," Pierce noted. "He's got everything going for him."

Mighty Quinn may make his next start July 29 in the $125,000-guaranteed Bull Page Stakes, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired colts and geldings.

"We were nursing one of his shins going into the race," said Pierce, "but it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear."

Pierce's talented 3-year-old Silver Spear is back on track after some recent setbacks and has been entered in Friday's fifth race. A well-bred son of Cozzene, Silver Spear won his debut on the grass Oct. 15, and then wintered in the United States after he finished second in a Nov. 5 allowance here on the main track.

"He got really sick on me when he got back up here," Pierce recalled. "I had him in the entries one day, but I had to scratch him. He came up with a 105-degree temperature the next day. It's been a nightmare trying to get him back to the races, but at least I'll have a fresh horse in the fall."

Three stand out in feature

Love Shuffle, Fastasaspeednbulit, and Strike Smartly head Thursday's featured ninth race, an $80,000 optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up on the grass.

Love Shuffle was claimed from a win for $77,500 on June 20 by trainer Mike Wright Jr. on behalf of Richard Englander, North America's leading owner this year.

Fastasaspeednbulit, one of the top California-bred turf milers in 2000, is making his second start for trainer Mark Casse. He was fifth while coming off a seven-month layoff in a $62,500 optional claimer at Delaware on June 13.

Strike Smartly, a full brother to Grade 1 winner Smart Strike, won his turf debut against $62,500 opposition following a one-year absence June 16. Mark Frostad trains.

Completing the field for the one-mile race are Hard Currency, Impeachable Sin, Valid N Bold, Attest, Run Lil Tooch, Master Stuart, and Miss Chief. Dream Launcher and Exclusive Run were entered for the main track only.

Jockey Club elects Atto, Werner

John Atto and Bill Werner, both actively involved as Thoroughbred owners here at Woodbine, have been elected to the Jockey Club of Canada.

Atto, who lives in Toronto, is president of Atto Insurance, which sponsors Woodbine's $1 million Atto Mile.

Werner lives in Rapid City, Ill., where he owns the Golden Seed Company.

* "Woodbine Post Time" on Sportsnet will be airing regionally this Thursday and Friday, with 90-minute live telecasts beginning at 1:30 p.m.

* Troy Hearn has put his career as an apprentice jockey on the back burner but continues to be licensed as an exercise rider. Hearn was winless in five mounts here at Woodbine this year.

- additional reporting by Bill Tallon