07/18/2007 11:00PM

Three years between wins for MacLaren


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Jeff MacLaren, 31, rode the fifth winner of his career at Fort Erie on Monday - and his first winner since June 20, 2004.

MacLaren won two races that day three years ago, but in the day's last race his mount bolted and he was hurt. An apprentice rider when the injury occurred, he had a record of 4 wins (in a 10-day span), 1 second, and 3 thirds in 27 starts.

"I pulled my shoulder out and had a torn rotator cuff," MacLaren said the other day.

He ended up having shoulder surgery that fall, and it wasn't until last week that he resumed race riding.

Although cleared by the doctor to ride early in 2005, MacLaren moved west to live with his father and continue rehabilitation on the shoulder. In June last year he returned to Woodbine and galloped horses. He continued galloping horses this spring, working 10 to 12 horses a day. When he had reduced to a suitable weight, he decided to try a comeback.

"The weight just came off," said MacLaren. "I got a medical extension on my bug. It expires on August 29th.

"Hopefully, I'll get a good start and people will see I'm here to stay and that I want to ride."

MacLaren has 1 win in 9 mounts this year. He is named on seven horses on Saturday's eight-race card.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, MacLaren was introduced to riding as a 7-year-old. His grandmother, on her farm, had hunters, jumpers, and Clydesdales.

Before taking out his apprentice jockey's license, MacLaren galloped horses at Woodbine for nine years. He also rode Quarter Horses at Picov Downs.

Morden climbs

Lyle Morden won with both horses he saddled on Tuesday - Glendawe and Hogan - and climbed into 10th place in the trainer standings. He has 6 wins from 16 starters at Fort Erie.

Glendawe got his third win in his last four starts in race 2 Tuesday. And Hogan, who won race 7, got his third straight win. Hogan, 3, was claimed, and Morden is sorry to lose him.

"He did good for us," he said.

Morden said he left Hogan at the $5,000 level because the horse's Beyer Speed Figure a race earlier "stayed at the 60 mark."

"He's still learning and he has been fun watching," Morden said.

Morden altered his operation this year because of the reduced racing days at the Fort. He has eight runners stabled at Woodbine and only five here. Last year, all of his horses were at Fort Erie. With 21 wins, he finished as Fort Erie's fourth-leading trainer last year.

Rombis high on Souvenier Biz

Debbie Rombis believes she still has the king of the quarter-milers in her barn - Souvenier Biz, who ran second to Fast Trick on July 3 after winning his first three starts this year.

"My horse broke bad in that race," said Rombis. "He broke to the outside and took a right-hand turn. There was nobody on the right of him and he probably lost a length and a half. He only lost by half a length."

Rombis believes Souvenier Biz will resume his winning ways when he runs next, on Sunday.