10/16/2008 12:00AM

Saskawea in River Memories off upset stakes win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Saskawea, who came to life with an upset win in the Avowal Stakes at Woodbine Sept. 27, will look to double up here in Saturday’s $100,000 River Memories.

The River Memories, a one-mile overnight stakes, represents the last black-type turf opportunity for fillies and mares at the meeting and attracted a field of eight.

Saskawea, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old, was making just her third start of the year when rallying at 13-1 for a three-quarter-length score in the Avowal, an overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

“She had a little bit of a pus pocket after the race,” said trainer Steve Attard, who had battled the same problem with Saskawea earlier this season. “She missed two days, but I breezed her the other day and everything’s perfect.”

Saskawea, owned and bred by Les Pereira, is by far the top earner in the River Memories field with a career bankroll of $594,261.

Jono Jones, the leading stakes-winning rider at the meeting, retains the mount.

Trainer Roger Attfield will field an interesting pair for the River Memories in Red Birkin and Quelle Beaute, both homebreds who race for Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

Red Birkin also was making just her third start of the season when she won an optional $62,500 claimer/second-level allowance over 1?1/16 miles on turf here Sept. 12.

“She’s a good filly when she’s on her game and she seems to have come back to that, which would make her very tough in here,” said Attfield.

Red Birkin, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, finished first in last year’s Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth but was taken down and placed third for interference.

Quelle Beaute, a Florida-bred 5-year-old, was beaten a length last time out as the closing third-place finisher in the Avowal and will be making the final start of her career in the River Memories.

“She’s from a decent family, and we wanted to get her stakes-placed,” said Attfield. “She’d missed getting black type by little bits and bad luck. “She’s going so well that she deserves another run.”

Both Pleasant Review and Prophetically are coming into the River Memories off allowance scores and have upset potential.

Pleasant Review, who captured a first-level allowance over 6 1/2 furlongs on turf, earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 98, which is the best of any River Memories entrant.

Trainer Danny Vella, who also has It’s True Love in the River Memories lineup, won last year’s running with Like a Gem.

Prophetically, trained by Ian Black, took an optional $80,000 claimer/third-level allowance, which was run over a mile and 70 yards after being taken off the turf.

Rahy’s Attorney trains for Japan

Black plans to send Rahy’s Attorney to Japan for the Mile Championship on Nov. 23 at Kyoto Racecourse, and has obtained permission for an unusual exercise here Saturday morning.

Rahy’s Attorney, with regular rider Slade Callaghan in the irons, is scheduled to gallop the “wrong way” on the main turf course here Saturday in preparation for Kyoto.

The turf course is scheduled to be open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for a special session designed to accommodate hopefuls for next weekend’s Sky Classic, Cup and Saucer, and Labeeb – the three final turf stakes of the meeting.

Sky Conqueror retired

Sky Conqueror, who was Canada’s champion turf horse in 2006 but has not seen action since finishing seventh in last year’s Canadian International, has been retired.

Although Sky Conqueror has been here since the spring with trainer Darwin Banach, he had not worked since mid-August and his owner/breeder Bill Sorokolit has confirmed that the horse’s racing career is over.

“He had a bad quarter-crack early on, and it led to other things being aggravated,” said Sorokolit. “He’s still sound but if we went any further we might have caused more damage, and he’s too good a horse to take chances with.”

Sky Conqueror, an Ontario-bred 6-year-old by Sky Classic out of Heavenly Ballerina, won 7 of 20 starts and finished in the money 13 times while earning $1,863,025.

His major victories include the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, back-to-back runnings of the Grade 2 Northern Dancer here at Woodbine, and the Grade 2 King Edward, also at Woodbine.

Stud plans for Sky Conqueror have not been finalized.

“We’ve been talking to a lot of people,” said Sorokolit.

Da Silva, Hawley to ride at Santa Anita

An unlikely pairing of Woodbine-based jockeys will be competing at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva, 33, has the mount on Bear It’s True for trainer Reade Baker in the $75,000 Jack Goodman at six furlongs.

Da Silva will be staying at Santa Anita to gallop the Baker-trained Bear Now and Fatal Bullet in preparation for their Breeders’ Cup races.

Hawley, 59, will be riding for the first time since he retired in 1998 as one of eight jockeys in the “Living Legends,” an optional claiming/allowance race at seven furlongs.

Hawley also will be staying at Santa Anita through the Breeders’ Cup, but will not be accepting any other mounts during that period.

Hawley honored

Hawley, who was performing one of his regular roles as a commentator on The Score’s live telecast here Wednesday evening, was presented with a special certificate from Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty in recognition of his career and contributions to Thoroughbred racing.

Dr. Shafiq Qaadi, member of provincial parliament for Etobicoke North, made the presentation to Hawley on behalf of the premier and Woodbine president and chief operating officer Nick Eaves.

Three gain first stakes win

Longshot Bold Corky held off You Will Love Me for her first stakes win here Wednesday night in the $125,800 Classy ‘N Smart for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

It was also the first stakes win for trainer Willie Armata and jockey Tyler Pizarro, who had Bold Corky prominently placed along the inside throughout the 1 1/16-mile route.

Lady d’Wildcat set slow fractions before being overtaken by Bold Corky nearing the three-eighths pole. Bold Corky opened up a three-length lead at the eighth-pole, and got home on top by a neck in 1:44.57.

“We definitely had a golden trip,” said Pizarro. “She was just so relaxed. By the time we hit the three-eighths pole, she pulled away from them.

“And her ears were straight up. I knew from there it was going to take a nice filly to beat her, and I guess she was the nice filly. She was there for me when I asked her.”

You Will Love Me finished 1 1/2 lengths clear of favored Nicki Knew, who edged Lady d’Wildcat for third in the seven-horse field.

Bold Corky ($30.50) earned $75,000 for Rainbow Stables and All Day Racing Stable.

– additional reporting by Ron Gierkink