09/07/2006 11:00PM

Simms sticks with strategy


FORT ERIE, Ontario - In Sunday's Don Valliere Memorial Cup at Fort Erie, trainer John Simms will use the same one-two punch that was effective in the Mike Anderson Memorial Cup here Aug. 20. The Valliere will be contested at six furlongs.

New Kid in Town went to an early three-length lead in the 6 1/2-furlong Anderson and set the race up for entrymate Fleet Storm, who came charging from his stalking position along the rail to win by 1 1/4 lengths. New Kid in Town finished fifth, beaten three lengths. Fleet Storm finished the race in 1:16.79.

Fleet Storm earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 82 for his effort. No other runner in Saturday's field of eight has been able to match that number this year.

Simms said he wouldn't be surprised if New Kid in Town wins, since the Valliere is a half-furlong shorter than the Anderson.

"New Kid in Town is not a one-dimensional horse," said Simms. "He can come off the pace. But when you have two runners with the same style, if you are able, you go with speed with one, and the other with off-the-pace."

Simms said that New Kid in Town was not sacrificed as a rabbit in the Anderson. The strategy was to make the other trainers think he would be used in that role and make them think twice about confronting New Kid in Town in the early stages.

"I thought New Kid had a good shot of winning," said Simms. "He ran a little too fast early and came up a little tired."

Simms said he has some concern about a possible bounce from Fleet Storm's top effort.

"But [Fleet Storm] is nicknamed 'Bulldog' for a reason - he keeps coming at you," said Simms. "Bulldog is awesome. He's small, but he's built like a tank. He just never seems to go to the bottom of the well. He's training good, and he's his typical self - aggressive in the mornings and always on the bit."

Simms said Shipman, trained by Tino Attard, is the opponent he fears the most Sunday. Shipman defeated Fleet Storm previously and is a winner of his last two starts.

"I really wanted to claim Shipman earlier," said Simms. "He's a very nice horse."