08/27/2001 11:00PM

Rum Splasher's start on hold


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Unbeaten 2-year-old Rum Splasher probably will miss Monday's Simcoe Stakes because of a bruised foot, according to trainer Sean Hall.

Rum Splasher made quite an impression when he came from left field to upset favored Expected Hour in the open Colin Stakes. The 19-1 score came just a week after his front-running maiden victory for a $50,000 claiming price on July 7.

"The foot's doing good now," Hall said. "We'll wait and see how it goes. I don't want to rush him to get him ready for that race. He's a nice horse, and it might be a blessing in disguise."

The $100,000 Simcoe, a seven-furlong dash for graduates of local yearling sales, is expected to draw a quality field, which could include stakes winners Rare Friends, Shaws Creek, and Molly's Wisdom.

Cautious approach with 'Moment'

Hopeful Moment, who captured the Aug. 18 Shepperton Stakes, putting a halt to Krz Ruckus's five-race win streak, may not see action again until the Highlander Handicap here Sept. 30.

Hopeful Moment was claimed from his maiden triumph for $50,000 in May 2000 by trainer John LeBlanc Jr., who has won four races with him, including an optional claimer just 12 days before the Shepperton.

"I'm going to nominate him to the Highlander," LeBlanc said. "Whether or not I run him is going to depend on how he trains into it. If he's even slightly off his game, I won't run him. I know it's going to be a tough spot."

The Grade 3 Highlander, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, is worth $150,000.

Sam Lords Castle nears return

Sam Lords Castle, a stakes-winning 3-year-old owned by Eugene Melnyk, is back in serious training after returning from a vacation on the farm and is getting closer to a race, according to trainer Josie Carroll.

Sam Lords Castle, who won the Jan. 27 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds, has been on the shelf since he ran fourth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on May 5.

"He's getting there," said Carroll. "I just want to give him the right amount of time to come back in good order."

Carroll has an unraced 2-year-old filly by Mr. Greely named Wynyard, who turned heads last Friday when she worked a half-mile from the gate over the training track in a bullet 46.60 seconds.

"She's a Canadian-bred filly who's shown a lot of speed in the mornings," said Carroll. "She had a good work the other day, but I hate to get too excited until they run."

Wynyard was purchased for $170,000 at the Calder 2-year-old sale in February.

After recount, a winner

After some last-minute confusion caused by a miscalculated total, Maurice Colpron was declared the winner of the inaugural Woodbine Racetrack Handicapping Challenge here Sunday evening.

The contest, in which players had to make 10 $100 win wagers on both the Saturday and Sunday cards at Woodbine, Fort Erie, or Saratoga, attracted 221 entrants. The first prize was $17,587.50.

The 56-year-old Colpron, who said he has been playing the horses for 40 years, drove in from his hometown of Montreal, where he is an avid follower of the Thoroughbred simulcasts. He competed in contests earlier this year in Nevada and Connecticut.

Colpron, who was fifth in the standings after hitting three winners Saturday, forged to the front with his last wager of the contest, tabbing Regal Sahib ($22.80) in Sunday's 10th and final race at Woodbine. His winning total was $5,810.

K.C. Yuen, who had seemed to be the winner before his total was audited, finished just $70 behind Colpron and picked up second money of $7,537.50. Yuen, a 48-year-old resident of Etobicoke who said he has been following the races for just three years, was blanked on the first day of the contest but caught three longshots Sunday.

Third money of $4,271.25 went to Bryan Teel, whose contest total was $5,455.

More days for Burningham

Apprentice jockey Jeff Burningham will be serving a five-day suspension, Sept. 19 through Sept. 23, after his appeal was turned down by the Ontario Racing Industry Board of Appeal here last week.

The five days will be tacked on to a suspension of 30 calendar days that Burningham began serving Aug. 18. Burningham's latest ban stems from his ride aboard H Que in the fifth race here July 11.

H Que won the race but was disqualified to third after the stewards ruled Burningham had interfered with a rival.

* Ten Flat and Swamp Line, both front-running stakes winners last year at 2, will face each other in Thursday's headliner, a $62,500 optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up. The six-furlong dash also has lured Rare Endeavour, Sambuca on Ice, and Major Adonis.

* The stewards have fined Constant Montpellier $500 fine for "misuse of his whip," ruling that the jockey cut his mount, Wild Glitter, during the the seventh race on Aug. 23.

- additional reporting by Bill Tallon