09/29/2006 12:00AM

Simms: Fleet Storm's last a bumpy ride


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Did Fleet Storm bounce in his last race, the Don Valliere Memorial Cup here at Fort Erie on Sept. 10? Or did he merely lack racing luck?

Maybe it was a bit of both.

As the heavy favorite, Fleet Storm finished sixth that day in what appeared to be a lackluster effort. Fleet Storm had earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 82 three weeks earlier for his 1 1/2-length win in the Anderson Memorial Cup.

"He trained good and everything before the race," said trainer John Simms.

"But in fairness to him, when he was going down the backside he had a horse to his left and one on his right. They were leaning all over him and he got brushed on quite a bit. I think it took some of the game out of him."

In contrast, Simms said, "When 'Storm' got his Cup win he had a golden trip - on the rail and no one bothered him."

Fleet Storm will be out to make amends on Saturday in the six-furlong Thoroughbred Niagara Cup. It's the 18th and last Cup race for older runners.

Next weekend, the final two Cup races are for 2-year-olds. The meeting ends Nov. 1.

Simms thinks Shipman and Chemistry Class are the main threats among Fleet Storm's six opponents on Sunday.

"Shipman is a real honest horse. He's always there," Simms said. "And Chemistry Class ran a monster race in the mud recently. A lot of rain is expected on the weekend."

Cold War gets a rest

Cold War, who won his sixth consecutive race in last Sunday's Welland Cup, will get a rest, said his owner and trainer, Vern Fernandes.

"He'll tell us when he's ready to go again," said Fernandes."He's done enough. He may get one more race here yet."

Cold War's victory in the Welland Cup was his ninth win of the year. That tied him with Longbranch Saloon as the winningest horse in North America. Longbranch Saloon has been running in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Fernandes is not keen about running Cold War at Woodbine. Only certain types of footwear are allowed on Woodbine's new Polytrack surface.

"[Cold War] runs with special shoes," said Fernandes. "You can't just change them. We might just take the winter off."

Cold War came into Fernandes's hands, free, last year when an exiting owner threw him into a deal that he made with Fernandes. He was selling a 3-year-old filly to Fernandes at the time.

Cold War had a leg problem.

"He was dragging his feet," Fernandes said. "We didn't know if he would ever run."

Well, they definitely know now.