07/07/2006 12:00AM

Schickedanz adds a third trainer


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Bruno Schickedanz, Fort Erie's leading owner for eight consecutive years before he was toppled by Frank Stronach last year, is expanding his horse population here.

Schickedanz already has runners at Fort Erie with trainers Stacey Cooper and Mark Fournier. He is in the process of shipping a half-dozen to the barn of Rob Johnston, who became a licensed trainer just this spring.

With nine wins heading into the weekend, Schickedanz is atop the owners standings by three wins. Schickedanz, a Toronto businessman, competes at numerous tracks, and with 58 victories through Thursday, he ranked sixth overall in total wins in North America.

Johnston, 33, has had a bang-up start to this meet, and has 5 wins from 13 starts. Only two of his runners have finished out of the money.

Johnston also shipped his homebred 2-year-old That's So Romantic to Woodbine and won, paying $29.20.

"You got to know what you're doing to get such a good start," said Schickedanz. "Getting Rob will help keep me at number one."

This is not a new relationship. Eight years ago, Johnston left his position as an assistant to his father, Carlton, who was the Fort's leading trainer in 1997 and 1998, and went to Ocala, Fla., to manage Schickedanz's horse operation there. The union lasted six years.

Smiling Jordan aims for Puss n Boots

Smiling Jordan, a surprising second at 17-1 in Sunday's Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial, came back from his first stakes try in fine fettle, said Claudia Rabstein, who is trainer Henry Whalen's longtime assistant.

"We're aiming for the Puss n Boots [Sept. 4]," said Rabstein. "We'll have an allowance race in between."

The Whalen outfit consists of 15 runners here and four at Woodbine. Rabstein has been looking after the Fort Erie end while Whalen for the large part has been at Woodbine. The outfit has one win at Woodbine and two here so far.

"We have a lot of young horses," said Rabstein. "There are eight 2-year-olds altogether - five here and three there."

Bowles hoping for a Kennedy horse

Trainer Norman Bowles was a little saddened when he lost Ellie's Princess on June 27 in a claiming race. The 7-year-old mare with three lifetime wins was taken for $4,000.

Ellie's Princess belonged to Ted "Teeter" Kennedy, a star and captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1940's, back when the NHL was a six-team league.

Kennedy "had her for seven years," said Bowles. "It was kind of his out to get out of the nursing home. Now, with no horse, he doesn't get out."

Bowles said it would be nice if Kennedy "could or would get another runner. I would never try to sway him one way or the other."

Kennedy was a modest breeder and served at one point as a steward for the Ontario Racing Commission. In his later years he headed security at Fort Erie.