07/10/2005 11:00PM

Tiller and Fraser repeat in Ontario Damsel

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There was a sense of deja vu at Woodbine Sunday, when trainer Bob Tiller and apprentice rider Corey Fraser teamed up to win the $166,350 with Top Ten List.

Tiller, a Sovereign Award winner the past two seasons, had given a leg up to Fraser, the 2004 Sovereign Award winner in his category, when the jockey registered his first stakes win with Velvet Snow in the Ontario Damsel last July 10.

Earlier on Sunday's program, Velvet Snow came up just short under Fraser when second in the allowance prep for the Royal North Handicap .

But Fraser, despite losing his whip in upper stretch, was able to get the job done with Top Ten List in the Ontario Damsel.

Top Ten List was trying turf for the first time in the Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

"I really wanted to try her on grass," Tiller said. "I was hoping she'd handle it, and she actually moved up on it."

Top Ten List, owned by Tiller and Frank DiGiulio Jr., had raced four times before the Ontario Damsel, all this year, winning twice. She now has earned $188,778.

Tiller also said he was pleased with the performance of Simply Lovely, who ran third in the Ontario Damsel.

Simply Lovely, winner of three stakes and Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last year, was finished in the top three for the first time in four starts this season.

"She was running on [at the] end," Tiller said. "She's coming around."

Both Top Ten List and Simply Lovely could swing back in the $125,000 Passing Mood, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies here July 27.

Fraser second in standings

Fraser recorded his third career stakes win in the Damsel, having also captured the Ballade with Believe in Missy here June 8.

The Ontario Damsel was the fifth winner of the weekend and 47th of the season for Fraser, but he's stillseven wins behind fellow apprentice Emma Wilson as the runner-up in Woodbine's jockey standings.

"I was expecting a very strong year, just with the way last year ended," said Fraser, who is represented by agent Lorne Spearman.

Fraser rode 66 winners here in his first full campaign, good for an eighth-place ranking despite suffering a broken thumb in mid-August that kept him on the sidelines for five weeks.

"I feel if we'd had a full season, we would have finished higher," Fraser said. "The momentum was strong when I got injured, but it picked back up when I returned.

"Business was good. That showed it wasn't a fluke."

Fraser spent the off-season working out under the direction of a personal trainer, and was back in at the track when the backstretch opened March 1.

Judiths Wild Rush bounces back

Judiths Wild Rush returned to a main track sprint here last Saturday and was very impressive in capturing the $137,675 Bold Venture Handicap over High Blitz and favored Ministers Wild Cat.

"I thought he was superb," said Reade Baker, who trains Judiths Wild Rush for owner Harvey Tenenbaum. "He beat really good horses, quite handily, and he ran really fast."

Judiths Wild Rush, Canada's champion 2-year-old male of 2003 when trained by Scott Fairlie, joined Baker's string here this spring after running five times in Florida this winter under the care of Julian Canet.

After being beaten a nose here on April 16 in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier, Judiths Wild Rush captured the Grade 3 Vigil Handicap over seven furlongs under regular rider Slade Callaghan.

Judiths Wild Rush then finished third, beaten just three-quarters of a length, in 1 1/16-mile Eclipse Handicap before ending last of nine when trying turf for the first time in the Grade 3 Highlander at six furlongs.

"That last race was a complete throwout," Baker said. "He never even picked up the bit."

Baker would prefer to keep Judiths Wild Rush in sprints but has nominated the colt for the Grade 3, $150,000 Seagram Cup, a 1 1/16-mile race here July 30.

"If I can find a suitable race out of town, I'm going to have to do that," Baker said.

The next open main track sprint stakes for the division is the $125,000 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race here Dec. 10.

Vibank wins another stakes

Vibank remained the only 2-year-old male to win a stakes race at the meeting with his emphatic score over 5 1/2 furlongs in Saturday's $160,500 Clarendon.

In the first stakes for the division, the five-furlong Victoria here June 19, Vibank had shown the way with his stablemate Edenwold finishing second in the field of five.

Vibank is nominated to the $125,000 Colin, a six-furlong race here July 23, but will not be participating.

"It looks like we may need a little bit of time with him," Carroll said.

Edenwold also was nominated to the Clarendon but opted for a six-furlong maiden special here Sunday and was a convincing winner.

"He's a horse who was looking for more distance," Carroll said. "We really wanted to do the right thing by the horse. We didn't want to discourage him."

Carroll said Edenwold could run back in the Colin.

Both Vibank and Edenwold are owned by Jim and Alice Sapara.

Stag Nation possible for Wales

Stag Nation, a 3-year-old colt owned by Class Action Stable, worked six furlongs in 1:16 on the training track here Monday and could make his next appearance in Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

Trainer Danny Vella is keeping his options open with Stag Nation, who is also nominated to the $150,000 Toronto Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race here Saturday.

Jockey Constant Montpellier has the call for either race.

* Welcome Again, a maiden owned by Stronach Stable, had been under consideration for the Prince of Wales but will remain here at Woodbine with an eye toward turf racing.