11/02/2005 12:00AM

Tamara could end 'seconditis'

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Le Cinquieme Essai will skip the Labeeb and take some time off.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Nick Nosowenko has only one serious complaint as he nears the end of his first full season as a trainer.

"We've had 'seconditis' all year," said Nosowenko, who has won with three of his 44 starters while finishing second 11 times and third on seven occasions.

The cure could lie with Tamara, the author of one of those victories and three second-place finishes, who will be looking to give Nosowenko, 44, his first stakes win as a trainer here in Saturday's $135,375 Ontario Fashion Handicap at Woodbine.

Nosowenko had covered all the bases with Tamara this weekend, as he also nominated her for Saturday's River Memories and Sunday's Labeeb. Both are $100,000 overnight stakes scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf, with the River Memories restricted to fillies and mares. The Ontario Fashion goes at six furlongs on the main track.

Tamara, a 5-year-old, has run well on turf and dirt this year, finishing second in 1 1/16-mile stakes over both surfaces at Fort Erie.

Nosowenko, however, figured the Ontario Fashion would represent Tamara's best opportunity. In her last try on the main track, which came under fourth-level allowance terms at seven furlongs here Sept. 2, Tamara was beaten a neck by the talented Financingavailable.

"If she comes back to that type of speed, she'll be tough here," said Nosowenko, noting that Tamara had run her first six furlongs that day in 1:08.86. "She's been going hard all year, and hasn't run a bad race for us."

The other half of the "us" is Nosowenko's father, Mike Nosowenko.

The father-and-son team struck gold with their first runner back in 1989 when homebred filly One for Bert won the Maple Leaf and Tattling at Greenwood for trainer John Cardella. They now have 24 horses, including 11 at the track, and a farm in nearby Bowmanville.

The increasing size of the operation led Nosowenko to walk away from 20-plus years of experience in the restaurant and food business and take up training as a full-time occupation last summer.

"I'd learned what I could on the farm, and the rest of it came from watching and learning around the barns," said Nosowenko, who won with his first career entrant at Churchill Downs in the spring of 2004 but did not have a trainer's license here until this season.

Lots of options for Nosowenko

Nosowenko has two other nominees for Sunday's supporting feature, with Major Gold and Fastlight on the list for the $100,000 Labeeb. The Labeeb is one of two turf races scheduled for the final day of grass racing here this season.

Major Gold and Fastlight also are eligible for Sunday's other turf race, a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles.

Fastlight, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old gelding, is winless in six starts this season but has finished second on three occasions. Major Gold, a Florida-bred 3-year-old gelding, won his maiden at 1 1/2 miles on turf when making his fifth and most recent start of the year here Oct. 15.

Nosowenko said Major Gold also was under consideration for the Commonwealth Turf, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs on Nov. 13, and the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and upward at Calder on Nov. 12. Both are worth $150,000.

Palladio might ship to Churchill

Palladio, who was scratched from last Saturday's Chief Bearhart, also is a candidate for the Commonwealth and is nominated to the Bonnie Heath and the $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and upward on the same Calder program.

"He could have some time off, too," said Roger Attfield, who trains Palladio for Haras Santa Maria de Araras. "But he's doing so well, we'll have to look at the race at Churchill."

Palladio, a 3-year-old colt, has won 4 of 8 starts this year, including three stakes, and has earned $511,812.

Shadow Rush gets a shot at futurity

Attfield also could be represented in two stakes races here Sunday, with Shadow Rush headed for the $250,000 Coronation Futurity and Caesarion a candidate for the Labeeb.

Shadow Rush, a maiden, would be making his fourth career appearance in the Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

"He's probably going to be better on turf," said Attfield, who co-owns Shadow Rush with Bill Werner. "He's still a learning horse, but he's training well, so I thought I'd give him a shot. We'd made all the payments."

Caesarion, a 6-year-old horse owned by Gary Tanaka, recorded his lone victory of 2005 in a second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland this spring.

Le Cinquieme Essai done for year

Le Cinquieme Essai, the defending champion in the Labeeb, had been slated to close out his 2005 campaign in the same race after finishing third in the Grade 1 Atto Mile.

"He came out of that last race with a bit of a filling in his upper suspensory, so we decided to give him the rest of the year off," said Paul Nielsen, who trains Le Cinquieme Essai for owner-breeder Bill Scott.

An Ontario-bred 6-year-old gelding, Le Cinquieme Essai will be heading down to Payson Park with the rest of the Nielsen string later this month and is scheduled for a return to action here next year.

Le Cinquieme Essai won 2 of 4 starts this season, including the Grade 3 Connaught Cup, while earning $315,070 and boosting his career bankroll over the $1 million mark.

* Saturday's River Memories drew a field of 10 and will be worth $110,000. The $75,000 Sunny's Halo, a 6 1/2-furlong overnight stakes for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds, failed to attract enough entrants and was scrapped.