08/31/2006 11:00PM

Snow liking what he sees in newcomer


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer John Snow should know a good 3-year-old when he sees one. After all, he trains Roscoe Pito, who won both the 2003 Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby and the Grade 2 British Columbia Derby. Roscoe Pito is still running, and recently won the Independence Day Handicap at Emerald.

Snow thinks a recent addition to his barn, Parkhimonbroadway, is a real nice 3-year-old, and he is hoping for a big race from him in the Richmond Derby Trial Sunday. If Snow is right and Parkhimonbroadway does run one of his better races, they aren't going to beat him.

A New York-bred colt by Ecton Park, Parkhimonbroadway was good enough to finish third behind Bluegrass Cat in the Grade 2 Remsen last year, and just about any of his races following his fourth-place finish to Henny Hughes in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special would make him tough to beat Sunday. The problem facing Snow, who really likes the way Parkhimonbroadway is coming into the race, is the recent dull form Parkhimonbroadway brings with him from Southern California. After his very good race in the Remsen, Parkhimonbroadway was bought privately by Ross McLeod and Charles Ming, who transferred him to Roger Stein's barn.

In his first start for Stein, Parkhimonbroadway ran evenly to finish fifth in an entry-level allowance race at Hollywood Park on June 16. Considering it was his first start in more than six months, it wasn't a bad performance, and one could expect him to move forward in his next race. He went the other way, though, finishing eighth in a similar race at Hollywood July 2. He also ran poorly on turf at Del Mar in his next two starts.

"Maybe he just didn't like the tracks down there, or it's possible something is bothering him and I'm missing it," said Snow. "But he seems like a very genuine horse. He trains hard, eats up everything we throw at him, and I was very pleased with the way he worked last week."

Snow was referring to Parkhimonbroadway's bullet five-furlong move in 59.60 seconds on Aug. 26. Snow's wife, former jockey Tammy Snow, was aboard for the workout.

"She loved the work," he said. "She said he rated beautifully and when she asked him for a little bit more he just took off. I could be wrong, but I don't think he could be coming up to the race any better."

Snow has made a few minor changes to Parkhimonbroadway's equipment, but he's not sure they're going to make that big of a difference.

"He was hitting himself slightly, so we changed the angles of his shoes, which seemed to help, and we altered his blinkers a little," he said. "But, really, he seemed fine when he got here, and I just hope he runs as well as I think he should."

Slots ruling bodes well for sale

The recent decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a local citizens group against the City of Vancouver to prevent slots at Hastings should help boost interest in the upcoming Canadian Thoroughbred Society's yearling and mixed sale. A total of 231 yearlings make up the bulk of the horses that will be up for auction at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, a suburb of Vancouver, Sept. 12.

Dixie Jacobson, president of the B.C. Division of the horse society, is predicting a strong sale.

"Whenever we've seen a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel we've had a good sale," Jacobson said. "The court decision is a very bright light, and with the slots coming, people are feeling confident about the stability of our industry."

Jacobson also said there has already been quite a bit of interest regarding the sale from both inside the province and from other jurisdictions.

"I've had quite a few people tell me they're going to be buying 10 to 20 horses," she said.

Hip No. 112 should attract some attention. A chestnut gelding by Alfaari, he's a half-brother to last year's B.C. Derby winner, Spaghetti Mouse, who was purchased for $21,000 by Nick and Pauline Felicella out of the 2003 CTHS sale. Trained by Gary Demorest, Spaghetti Mouse has earned more than $466,626 for the Felicellas, and he figures to be a heavy favorite to win the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate this Monday.

Veteran aboard for breeze

Demorest sent Spaghetti Mouse out for an easy five-furlong breeze in 1:02.40 Monday morning. Former jockey Andy Smith was aboard for the move. Smith, who just recently started exercising horses for Demorest, was one of the top riders at Hastings in the 1970's. He won 67 stakes races here, which places him seventh on the list of all-time leading stakes riders. He's been exercising mostly claiming horses at Hastings since he retired from riding.

"It seems like old times," said Smith, 58, who won the B.C. Derby in 1978 aboard Five Star General.

"It's nice having a guy like Andy around to work them for you," said Demorest, a former jockey himself. "I get a little worried about how fast they're going when I'm working them. He just goes out and lets them work they way they're supposed to."