08/06/2004 12:00AM

Staying on turf crucial for Clubay


FORT ERIE, Ontario - There will be no excuses offered by trainer Ralph Biamonte should his 6-year-old mare, Clubay, not win the $40,000 Golden Horseshoe on Sunday at Fort Erie. That is, if the seven-furlong race stays on the turf.

"If it's on grass I'm looking to see [Clubay] run her best race of the year," said Biamonte. "She's geared up.

"She had a maintenance work Sunday at Woodbine. It was an easy half-mile in 49 and small change. She's fit - coming back to seven furlongs."

Clubay finished a distant second to Ginger Gold in her last start, the $100,000 Ernie Samuel Memorial here July 18. That 1 1/16-mile race, scheduled for the turf, was run on a sloppy track.

Clubay won her other two 2004 starts, the six-furlong, $60,000 Rose City here June 20 and an optional claimer at five furlongs June 5.

The end of Clubay's racing career is drawing near. Three Chimneys will consign her to the Keeneland fall sales in November as a broodmare. She has lifetime earnings of $371,144. Biamonte is striving to have the total surpass $400,000.

After Sunday's race, Clubay is headed for the $40,000 Centre Stage Anne here Sept. 6. That race is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Both the Golden Horseshoe and the Centre Stage Anne are "in-house" stakes for fillies and mares who have had three previous starts at the current meet. There is an additional bonus of up to $20,000 for Canadian-breds in each of the races.

Clubay, who will have Neil Poznansky in the saddle, is likely to share favoritism with Olympic Advice in the 10-horse Golden Horseshoe.

Olympic Advice, trained by Myckie Neubauer, scored impressively in her last two starts here, an optional claimer July 5 and the $48,000 Border Cup last Monday.

The quick return to action for Olympic Advice, who won off by 6 1/4 lengths in the Border Cup, wasn't a hard decision for Carl Norris. He co-owns Olympic Advice, and is the husband of Neubauer.

"If it had been a grueling race and took a lot out of her," said Norris, "we would not have entered her. It seemed like an easy race."

According to Norris, jockey Brian Bochinski confirmed that assessment.

Orientalspringhope, an 8-year-old mare trained by Dan Wills, finished third in the Border Cup. She could be a threat to the top pair.

In her lone turf try this year, Orientalspringhope missed by just a head when beaten by the very good turf mare Soon to Be Single in an optional claimer June 29. Francine Villeneuve has the mount.