11/14/2008 1:00AM

Silver Rocket has earned a vacation


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Gail Cox couldn't help feeling a twinge of regret when she saw the six-horse field for Sunday's $250,000 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.

Silver Rocket, a colt Cox conditions for Eric Sprott, had finished second behind Utterly Cool here in the Oct. 26 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile race over yielding turf. Utterly Cool, who was looming as the favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity, was sidelined by ankle surgery on Monday.

But by that time Silver Rocket had gone to Florida, preparing for a 3-year-old campaign that Cox hopes will include the top-level races for Canadian-breds.

"I think he ran a huge race in the Cup and Saucer," said Cox. "But he ran seven times; I thought that was enough for him. He had a great year. I'm very, very happy with him. Unfortunately, he's still a maiden."

Silver Rocket is indeed a maiden after those seven starts, but certainly not for lack of trying.

After finishing a closing fifth in his 4 1/2-furlong debut on May 18, Silver Rocket went on to run third in four straight races, including the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon, six-furlong Vandal, and seven-furlong Simcoe.

Silver Rocket then was second when returning to the maiden ranks prior to his solid effort in the Cup and Saucer, in which he was beaten 10 1/4 lengths but was 2 3/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher after contesting a rapid pace.

"He's on the farm in Florida right now, and he'll meet me at Payson Park at the end of the month," said Cox, who plans to have up to eight horses at that training center, her regular winter headquarters.

"He'll get a break, and probably start back in January, then come back here with me in mid-April."

Hosta Rica may try Kennedy Road

Cox recently welcomed a talented new runner to the barn as Hosta Rica, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Susan Foreman, was transferred to her shed row after making his first 21 starts for trainer Steve Attard.

Hosta Rica has won four times, finished second or third on another nine occasions, and banked $223,154. He also is stakes-placed, having finished third here two starts back in the six-furlong Kenora.

"He's a big, good-looking horse," said Cox. "He's very nice to train."

Hosta Rica is nominated to next Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, but remains eligible for his third allowance condition.

Storm Treasure, who is coming off a superb third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, is among the 18 horses nominated to the Kennedy Road and is a probable entrant.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Storm Treasure was here this summer and started twice, finishing second when making his first start on a synthetic track in a six-furlong money allowance and then ending a close fifth in the Grade 2 Nearctic over six furlongs of turf.

Leading rider Jim McAleney has the call on Storm Treasure and is scheduled to ride Executive Flight in next Sunday's feature, the $150,000 Bessarabian for fillies and mares.

Executive Flight, winner of the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too here this summer, will be traveling the same distance in the Bessarabian.

Pizarro, Wilson sit out three days

Jockey Tyler Pizarro will be serving a three-day suspension, beginning Sunday.

Pizarro, who will be sitting out the Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday cards, was suspended after his mount, Sans Sousi, was disqualified from second and placed fourth in the Shady Well Stakes here July 13.

Pizarro and Sans Sousi's trainer, Mike Doyle, appealed the ruling to the Ontario Racing Industry Board of Appeal Board, which upheld the decision of the stewards Oct. 1.

Pizarro then took his case to the ORC's head office, where his appeal was denied on Monday.

Emma-Jayne Wilson will be serving a three-day suspension, Wednesday through Friday, after dropping an appeal to the Industry Board.

Wilson had been suspended after the stewards ruled that her mount, Chusan, had come out and interfered with outside horses in the stretch run of the fourth race on Oct. 8.

Board overturns stewards' ruling

Cryptonite Kid, who had finished first in the eighth race here on Sept. 28 and then survived a inquiry, has been demoted to second place following a Industry Board appeal hearing on Wednesday.

The connections of second-place finisher Tizthemaninthemoon, owner/trainer Fred Seitz and his partner Doug Branham, had appealed the non-disqualification.

Danny Vella, who trains Cryptonite Kid and is a principal in the colt's ownership group, Class Action Stable, plans to appeal the board's decision to the ORC head office.

Sovereign media finalists announced

The Jockey Club of Canada announced the three finalists in each of four Sovereign Award media categories on Friday.

Film/video/broadcast: Horse Racing Alberta for its coverage of the Ky Alta Stakes; Sport of Kings Communications for "The Luckiest Man in the World"; and the Woodbine Entertainment Broadcast Department for its coverage of the Woodbine Mile.

Photograph: Matt Waples for "Not Bourbon Gets Kissed"; Michael Burns Sr. for "Morning Mist"; and Michael Burns Jr. for "Da Silva Rides into Spotlight."

Feature Story: Chris Lomon for "The Coldwater Kid's Kind Deed"; Peter Gross for "How Many Horses Can One Man Save"; and Perry Lefko for "Remembering the King of Handicapping."

Newspaper Story: George Williams for "Ace is Tops for King"; Beverley Smith for "Race for Life"; and Peter Gross for "Lloyd Duffy Still Bringing in the Winners."

The 34th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony will be held at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 12.

* The training track is scheduled to be open for the last time this season on Sunday morning. Only one horse worked over the surface, listed as muddy, on Friday.