09/30/2004 11:00PM

'Special Hoss' Thompson's latest bargain

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Many people considered trainer Ed Thompson lucky when he purchased Delightful Dance for a song and developed her into a stakes winner in the mid 1980's. They gave him a little more credit when he did it again with Reve Du, a $2,500 yearling purchase who earned $229,396.

When it happened again with Funboy, $271,361, it was pretty clear Thompson wasn't just lucky, he obviously has a good eye for a young horse. Add Name for Norm to the list, another $2,500 purchase who banked more than $278,000, and you get the picture.

Thompson has made another shrewd buy in the aptly named One Special Hoss. A talented California-bred, One Special Hoss deserves to be favored in the seventh race at Hastings on Sunday, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race for 2-year-olds.

Thompson and Bindy Sangara race as Trend Stable. They spent a little more than usual for One Special Hoss, but the $8,200 purchase has proved to be a bargain with more than $45,000 in earnings in just two starts.

Thompson is more concerned with conformation than how well a horse is bred when he's looking at yearlings.

"To get a well-bred horse you usually have to spend more money than I want to, especially for a horse that's going to run around here," said Thompson. "So, I don't worry too much about pedigree. I spend a lot of time looking at yearlings and sometimes they just speak to me."

Thompson was obviously taking a shot when he entered One Special Hoss in a $15,000 maiden race Aug. 1, but it didn't matter because Special Hoss flipped at the gate and was a late scratch. That probably had a lot to do with the $42.40 One Special Hoss paid when he came back to beat Run On by 7 1/2 lengths in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event Aug. 15. That was the fastest and by far the most impressive race by a 2-year-old at the meet.

Run On validated the race by winning the CTHS Sales Stakes in his next start, and One Special Hoss proved it was no fluke by winning the Birdcatcher at Northlands Park on Sept. 6. Although he won the Birdcatcher by just a length, he was jostled about leaving the starting gate and then his rider, Cayetano Chaparro, had to send him hard into the first turn in order to avoid either going wide or getting shuffled back.

"It was a great ride by Ceyetano," said Thompson. "It was a rough trip and if he didn't make that move going into the first turn I don't know what would have happened."

One Special Hoss will be stretching out for the first time Sunday, and his below-average 231 Tomlinson figure for the distance is reason for concern. He's also by Danjur, who won 3 sprints from just 4 starts and whose progeny have mostly been sprinters. On the positive side, One Special Hoss is the first foal out of Wish Upon a Starr, who is stakes placed going long and is a half-sister to three route winners.

"You never know until they try but he certainly acts like he'll go at least a mile and a sixteenth," said Thompson. "His last two six-furlong works have been excellent and he's certainly trained well since coming back from Alberta,"

According to the Hastings clockers, One Special Hoss's six-furlong bullet move on Sept. 17 in 1:13.80 over a good track was exceptional. He came home the last quarter-mile in 24 seconds.

Thompson is married to singer-performer Gillian Campbell, aka Klondike Kate, and after the racing season ends, he joins his wife in many of her shows. He has a long white beard and he mostly gets cast as Santa Claus.

"We have a lot of fun," he said. "Plus, I believe in Santa Claus and I also believe in One Special Hoss."

Metatron, Shacane to Premiers

Metatron and Shacane, the one-two finishers in the Sir Winston Churchill, are both headed toward the Grade 3 Premiers on Oct. 17. Shacane, who is trained by Toni Cloutier, won the Premiers as a 3-year-old in 2002 but he missed all of 2003 with a bowed tendon. The distance of the Premiers, 1 3/8 miles, is obviously no problem for Shacane, but trainer Mel Snow could have a hard time getting the speedy Metatron to relax enough to go that far. The Churchill was Metatron's first stakes win and also the first time he won going 1 1/8 miles.