05/25/2007 11:00PM

Souvenier Biz impresses in dash


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Souvenier Biz, from the barn of Debbie Rombis, may be Fort Erie's new king of the quarter-milers.

Last Tuesday, Souvenier Biz overhauled speedball Bermuda Triangle to post a three-quarter-length victory in the first two-furlong race of the season. A full field of 12 competed.

The dashes are a popular item at the Fort. They are scheduled at three-week intervals, one for fillies and mares and one for the males.

The most successful runners at the distance have become Fort Erie heroes. In 2000, Pecos Star won six in row. Starting in 2002, Pembroke Hall won nine consecutive dashes at the Fort and then stretched the string to 10 in 2004 when he captured the two-furlong, $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes on the Summit of Speed program at Calder Race Course.

In 2005, the Fort's top quarter-miler, Thats a Problem, shipped to Florida to become the second Fort Erie runner to capture the Rocket Man Stakes.

Last year, Bermuda Triangle and the filly Hot and Cold represented the Fort in the Rocket Man. Bermuda Triangle finished second and Hot and Cold was third in the field of 13.

Tuesday, Bermuda Triangle broke sharply to the front but couldn't stave off Souvenier Biz.

For Souvenier Biz, it was his second win of the young meeting, which started May 5. Souvenier Biz set a 4o1/2-furlong track record of 51.70 seconds on opening day.

Schickedanz starts meet strong

Bruno Schickedanz is positioning himself to once again repeat as Fort Erie's leading owner, a title he has captured in nine of the last 10 years.

Schickedanz has 23 runners in the barn of Mark Fournier. Three of them have already won.

It is the second year Fournier has saddled Schickedanz runners. Last year, he scored 12 times with them. Plus, he had a win at Woodbine.

Schickedanz, who was the sixth-leading owner in wins in North America last year, sent horses with Fournier to compete at Sam Houston during the Fort's off-season.

"We went down after a month in their season," Fournier said. "We had 15, mostly Fort Erie runners. We won 14 races and ended up as the leading owner."

Hemsley returns from injury

Jockey Dale Hemsley returned to action last week after being off because of an injury. On his second try, he made it to the winner's circle on May 21 aboard Fire Power ($48.60).

"I had a horse flip on me while behind the starting gate," Hemsley said. "It was at Tampa during the winter. My collarbone broke and it took a long time to heal."