10/23/2001 11:00PM

Schwoch seeks happy Bahama Dream ending


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jorg Schwoch didn't attract all that much attention during his first year as a trainer here.

But the 33-year-old Schwoch is hoping to conclude his second meet at Woodbine on a high note, sending out Bahama Dream in Saturday's Ontario Fashion Handicap, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

"It would be nice if she could pull it off," said Schwoch, who saddled Bahama Dream for a rallying second in the Fashion prep. "We're already happy with what she's accomplished."

Schwoch's long and winding road to Woodbine began in his homeland of Germany, where his father, Harry, owned horses.

"He used to have riding horses," said Schwoch, "and I got involved at an early age. When I was 17, he switched to race horses and I started out my apprenticeship."

Schwoch, however, focused not on Thoroughbreds but Standardbreds, the breed that his father raced. Following his three years of equine schooling he moved to Italy, where he worked with trotters for two years, performing the driving duties on occasion.

In 1989, Schwoch relocated to the United States, campaigning a stable for a group of Italian and German owners who raced under the name "Globetrot." But when his clients discontinued their U.S. operation, Schwoch, who also had been involved in buying and selling in the Standardbred business, decided to strike out in a new direction.

He purchased his first Thoroughbred, a horse named Zec Boy, from veteran trainer Louis Jolin. "Then I started to buy a few on my own, claiming cheap horses," said Schwoch, who gave up training in 1996 to concentrate on the Thoroughbred bloodstock business.

In 1998, Schwoch met Jean Pierre Dubois, a renowned trainer and driver of trotters in France who also has owned Thoroughbreds there since the 1980's.

The meeting eventually led to Dubois hiring Schwoch as the trainer for Dream With Me Stable, a syndicate headed by Dubois.

"This spring, he moved about six horses to me," said Schwoch.

Next, Dubois - who maintains a farm in nearby Caledon East and races some Standardbreds on the Ontario circuit - asked Schwoch to come north to Woodbine.

Schwoch arrived in mid-May and Bahama Dream, a 4-year-old who had raced in France at 2 and 3, became his first starter at Woodbine, in July.

"She'd raced in Florida on the dirt, and won for me second start out," said Schwoch. "But up here, when I saw the turf course, I put her back on the grass. She'd been very competitive in France."

Bahama Dream finished second in her local debut, then bled in her next start. She had begun using Lasix by the time she ran ninth in the Royal North Handicap on Aug. 4.

But the filly has a new lease on life since moving to the main track, rallying from last place to win an allowance race at six furlongs here Aug. 26 in the slop, and validating her strong form on dirt by running second on Oct. 6, prepping for Saturday's Ontario Fashion.

Bahamas Dream will be the last starter of the meeting for Schwoch, who is leaving Wednesday for a few weeks in Germany, and will return to Florida with some of the Dream With Me runners this winter.

Schwoch and his daughters of Storm Cat

Schwoch added considerably to the Dream With Me Stable's bottom line here with Styleistick, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old by Storm Cat who won her maiden on the turf here and then finished second to stakes-placed Strait From Texas in a first-level allowance.

Team Valor recently purchased a 75 percent increase in Styleistick for a healthy but confidential sum. She was scheduled to run in Thursday's Green River at Keeneland for new trainer Bill Mott.

"She's a very small horse," said Schwoch, noting that Styleistick's size is the reason she was initially bought for the relatively cheap sum, in Storm Cat terms, of $225,000. "When I got her in February, she didn't look like much," he said.

Frederick Sauque, the agent who signed the ticket for Styleistick at the 2000 Keeneland September sale and brokered the recent deal with Team Valor, picked up the Storm Cat filly Petite Chatte for $200,000 at the same venue.

Petite Chatte ran twice here, finishing seventh at five furlongs and a closing fourth at six furlongs. In the latter race, she raced on Lasix for the first time.

"We're giving her a little time to grow," said Schwoch. "She had a little problem with her breathing, and had surgery on her soft palate. We plan to race her at Gulfstream. I'm confident she's going to be a real nice horse next year."

Hoptuit Bud in feature on six days' rest

Hoptuit Bud, fourth in Saturday's Bunty Lawless Stakes, is swinging right back into action in Friday's Woodbine feature, a six-furlong turf dash for $80,000 optional claimers.

Hoptuit Bud is no stranger to winning on short rest. He won at 37-1 on three day's rest in September, 2000. His lone victory this year came in an $80,000 optional claimer July 20, only six days after his previous race.

Hoptuit Bud made a wide bid for the lead in the stretch of the Bunty Lawless, a one-mile race that was run over turf labeled "good." He looked like a winner at the eighth pole, but he hung a little in the final sixteenth and ended up beaten by only 1 1/2 lengths.

Hoptuit Bud prefers firm turf, but will likely have to cope with a course on the giving side Friday. Emile Ramsammy rides for trainer Peter Berringer.

Rounding out the field for Friday's feature race are Prideofthecoombe, Karra Kul, Miller's Mark, Outer Wood, Run Lil Tooch, Waltzin' Storm, and Spring Barley.

Restricted stakes winners Estonia and Swamp Line were entered for the main track only.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink