06/28/2007 11:00PM

Todd's free time turns productive

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - In a joke that asks the question "When does life really begin?" the punch line is, "When the kids leave home."

The same could be said about Glen Todd's increased involvement in horse racing. Todd, who is hoping for a big effort by Act of God in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Lieutenant Governors at Hastings, has been involved with racing his whole life. Recently, though, he has expanded his stable to roughly 37 horses, and he and his partner, Patrick Kinsella, lead the owners standings at Hastings.

"I've raised a family, and now that the kids don't play ball or sports any more, I have a lot more time to spend at the track," Todd said. "There's no better place to be, and right now we're having a lot of fun being here."

It's easy to understand why Todd, who usually makes it out to watch his horses train in the mornings, is enjoying himself right now. His trainer, Troy Taylor, is winning races at a 35 percent clip at the meet.

"It doesn't hurt having the best trainer here," said Todd, 60. "Since last July I think we've won with over 40 percent of our starters. I'm sure the bubble will eventually burst, it always does, but we're really enjoying the roll we're on right now."

Todd should know what it takes to be a good trainer. He trained horses for his dad, Jack Todd, in the 1960s before he got heavily involved in his family's custom brokerage business.

Wayne Russell, who is a steward at Hastings, remembers working as a groom for Todd.

"I was the only groom at the track that had a pickup truck and a gas card," said Russell. "Glen really treated you very well, and he knew what he was doing with a horse. He was also was very bright when it came to business and he made some shrewd decisions with his brokerage business, which really helped it grow."

Todd has made a fortune as a customs broker, and it was through his business that he met Kinsella. He brought Kinsella out to a charity event at Hastings three years ago. It didn't take long before Kinsella became his partner in his expanding stable.

"Patrick came to the event and I convinced him to go in with me and claim a horse for $20,000 that day," said Todd. "He's been a great partner. If we claim a horse for $25,000 and it turns out to be a bad move, he doesn't mind if we have to drop him in for $10,000."

Todd is hopeful that Act of God will not only handle the smaller track at Hastings, but also dirt. All 12 of his starts have been on grass. A 4-year-old by Black Minnaloushe, Act of God was good enough to win a minor stakes race at Ellis Park last August. What might have been his best race, however, was a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs, where he was only beaten three lengths.

"He's a really nice horse and he'll fit the bill here," said Todd, who purchased Act of God privately. "We're also trying to buy a 3-year-old that will be good enough to run in the B.C. Derby."

Taylor was pleased with Act of God's five-furlong work in 59.40 seconds Tuesday morning.

"It looked like he did it very easily," said Taylor. "He also worked very well on dirt and on the Polytrack in Kentucky. He comes from behind so I'm just not sure how he's going to handle getting dirt kicked in his face the first time."

The ship from Kentucky to British Columbia shouldn't bother Act of God. This will be the seventh track he has raced on and he has been a pretty steady performer, missing only one check. He has won twice and has earned $79,898.

Forceful Intention a threat to wire

The horse that will be kicking dirt in everyone's face for at least the first part of the Lieutenant Governors is Forceful Intention. With Frank Fuentes aboard, Forceful Intention was a very impressive front-running winner over Spaghetti Mouse in the 1 1/16-mile John Longden 6,000 on May 27 and could be the lone speed in the field.

Forceful Intention, who is trained by Michael Turner, will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time, and Turner is confident that the 4-year-old gelding will be able to handle the extra distance.

"I don't see why he shouldn't," said Turner. "He finished strongly in the Longden and he's trained extremely well since then. He's pretty quick leaving the gate and if they don't chase him too hard, he'll be tough to catch."

Turner isn't overly concerned about a possible speed duel developing.

"He's won from slightly off the pace in the past and we've been working on getting him to relax behind horses in the mornings," he said. "He'll probably break on top and then we'll leave it up to Frank to see what he wants to do. If someone really wants to go, I'm sure Frank can ease him off the pace."

De Paulo reluctant to ship west

The Lieutenant Governors lost some of its luster when trainer Michael De Paulo opted to keep Shillelagh Slew, who was the champion 3-year-old in Canada last year, and Cuba at Woodbine.

"It's an expensive trip and you would have to win the race to make it pay," said De Paulo. "I still might send Cuba out there later because there just aren't many races for him at Woodbine."