09/28/2004 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


The annual Canadian invasion of horses from Fort Erie has changed the complexion of handicapping here, and full fields with also-eligibles have become the order of the day. About 150 horses have shipped in, along with new trainers and jockeys.

Trainers Ken Albu and Patrick County Jr. both showed they will be factors when they each won a pair of races last week. A large group of riders also arrived, including Clint Magera, Pierre Mailhot, Michael Quong, Mellissa Polkey, Gillbert Rodney Searchwell, and Sean R. Deveaux.

Last week, 68 Canadian horses competed in the 36 races, and in one race eight of the 10 starters were from Fort Erie.

* The current Randall Park meeting ends Monday, and rider Luis Gonzalez has a 42-39 lead over Scott Spieth in the standings.

In the trainer standings, Rodney Faulkner leads his father, Joseph, 23-22. The Faulkners are also in a tie for leading owner, with 14 wins each.

* Trainers Richaleen Turpin and Darla Ball have organized a benefit bake sale for jockey Javier Cabrera and his family this Saturday. Cabrera broke his leg two weeks ago in a riding accident here, and his bad luck continued when he lost his home and car to a fire last Sunday evening. The bake sale will be held on the main level of the grandstand starting at 11:30 a.m.

* Hall of Fame rider Pat Day's tour for the racetrack Chaplaincy of America will visit Thistledown next Thursday.