08/16/2001 11:00PM

Torn between two horses, feeling doubly proud


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - George Tharrenos will have mixed emotions when he watches the Vandal Stakes here Sunday.

On the one hand Tharrenos will have a soft spot for Feelitfirst, who is owned by Bridle Path Racing Stable, the nom de course of his sister-in-law Sandra Patras.

But at the same time, Tharrenos will have a serious rooting interest in Shaws Creek, who will be seeking his second straight stakes win for the Jam Jar Racing Stable of Bud and Jackie Reynolds. Tharrenos, who races as G T Heat Stable and currently has one runner here with trainer Steve Owens and two at Fort Erie with Nick Gonzalez, also owns Lady Gretchen, the stakes-winning dam of Shaws Creek.

And another stakes score by Shaws Creek obviously would be an additional shot in the arm for the burgeoning G T Heat breeding operation, which took a serious step forward when Tharrenos purchased a 32-acre farm in nearby Nobleton, Ontario, this past May.

Shaws Creek, an Ontario-bred by Tejano Run, was purchased for $60,000 here at the local select yearling sale. Tharrenos had owned G.T.'s Groove, one of Lady Gretchen's earlier offspring, and had been in the hunt for Shaws Creek until the bidding passed $40,000.

When in Ocala this past winter he decided to check in on the colt, who was with trainer John Ross at Classic Mile Farm.

"I was impressed with the way Shaws Creek was training," said Tharrenos, "so I went out of my way to buy the mare. I bought her privately, from Hill 'n' Dale in Kentucky, and brought her here to foal."

Tharrenos obtained Lady Gretchen, who is 17 years old, for a price in the neighborhood of $15,000 U.S. The mare currently has a weanling filly by Accelerator and is back in foal to that stallion.

G T Heat Farm is also home to four other broodmares, including former local campaigners Coral Classic and Tiger Temper.

Krone presides at Trotting Classic

Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone will be the honorary drawmaster for the Aug. 25 Maple Leaf Trotting Classic here at Woodbine Tuesday.

Krone, the most successful female rider in Thoroughbred racing history, rode Moni Maker, the world's top money-winning Standardbred, in a record-breaking time trial "under saddle" last fall at the Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.

Her illustrious career included four stakes wins here at Woodbine, headed by Peaks and Valley in the 1995 Molson Million, the race that was replaced on the schedule by the Woodbine (now Atto) Mile in 1997.

Krone's other stakes wins here came with Lassigny in the 1996 Jockey Club Cup, which was the precursor of the present-day Sky Classic; Palace March, in the 1988 Dominion Day; and Galway Song, in the 1987 Princess Elizabeth.

On Thursday, Krone will be the guest speaker at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame's 2001 induction luncheon.

Woodbine invades Edmonton

Locally based Stage Classic and Krakow are slated to be flown to Edmonton Wednesday for next Saturday's Grade 3 Canadian Derby, a

1 3/8-mile race worth $150,000.

Stage Classic, trained by Dave Cotey, returned to Woodbine after winning the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby at Winnipeg's Assiniboia Downs Aug. 6.

A Kentucky-bred, Stage Classic is owned by Cotey's Dominion Bloodstock in partnership with Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. With regular rider Constant Montpellier booked for Win City's prospective engagement in the same day's $1 million Travers at Saratoga, Frank Todd Jr. will go west to pilot Stage Classic in the Canadian Derby.

Krakow, trained by Roger Attfield, won his maiden over one mile of turf here Aug. 3 after just missing over 1 3/8 miles of the E.P. Taylor course in his previous start. Slade Callaghan, who has ridden Krakow in five of his six career outings, retains the mount.

"He hasn't been as effective on dirt, but he did work in 59 the other day," said Attfield, referring to Krakow's five furlongs in 59.60 seconds on the training track here last Tuesday.

"He appears to be going into the race well, and the distance certainly won't hurt him."

A Maryland-bred, Krakow is owned by the partnership of Cam Allard, Don Danard, and Jim Moroz.

Allard will be looking for his third win in the Canadian Derby, having watched A Fleets Dancer prevail in 1998 after Cozzy Grey took the 1993 renewal.

Attfield sent out Steady Power to win the 1997 Canadian Derby.

* Woodbine still is seeking contestants for the inaugural $75,000 Woodbine Handicapping Challenge on Aug. 25-26. The contest is limited to 300 players, who must make 10 $100 win wagers on both days on racing from Woodbine, Fort Erie and Saratoga. The entry fee is $250.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink