06/11/2008 11:00PM

Trainer's first career win comes in stakes


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Terry Dubois became the first trainer other than Troy Taylor or Terry Jordan to win a stakes race at Hastings this year when she won the $53,786 John Longden 6000 with Spaghetti Mouse last Saturday.

With seven stakes wins on his resume, including the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby in 2005, Spaghetti Mouse is no stranger to the winner's circle. On the other hand, Dubois was not only winning her first stakes race, it was her first official win as a trainer.

Dubois, 46, has had a trainer's license since 2003, but prior to this year she had only started a couple of horses in 2005. For the past four years, she had been working as a groom for the late Gary Demorest and Ned Sams before taking over as the trainer for owners Nick and Pauline Felicella this year.

"I learned a lot working with Gary and Ned," Dubois said. "I was a bit surprised when the Felicellas asked me if I wanted to train for them, but it was hard to say no."

The Felicellas haven't changed the spaghetti sauce at Nick's Spaghetti House, a restaurant they have owned on Commercial Drive in Vancouver for more than 50 years, but they have been known to move their horses around. Last year under Sams, Spaghetti Mouse won the Grade 3 Lieutenant Governors, and his half-brother Desert Alf won the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity.

"I have no idea why they wanted to make the change," said Dubois. "I really respect Ned and I think he did a good job. But if I had said no, the horses still would have ended up with someone else."

Dubois has been involved with horses her whole life. She grew up in Toronto, where she was involved with show horses at an early age and also jumped horses in the Calgary area. Her first involvement with Thoroughbreds came when she moved to Vancouver about 15 years ago.

"I was galloping horses and also helping trainers break their horses at Lone Rock, which is a training center in the valley," said Dubois. "I also was also teaching a few young girls how to ride."

One of her students was Glorianna Anderson, the daughter of local veterinarian Dr. Bryan Anderson.

"I remember she won a few first-place ribbons in her first competition," Dubois said.

"Terry did a great job of teaching Glorianna how to ride," said Anderson. "It looks like she's going to do all right as a trainer, too."

It's a real family affair at the Dubois barn. Her daughter Sabrina works as a groom, and when her youngest daughter Holly, who is 15, isn't in school, she is also at the barn helping out her mother.

"It's nice having them working with me," said Dubois. "Sabrina basically runs the barn and Holly really enjoys being a hot-walker."

Dubois gives a lot of credit to jockey Pedro Alvarado for Spaghetti Mouse's win in the Longden. "Archie," as Spaghetti Mouse is affectionately called by Dubois, can be a handful. After Spaghetti Mouse won the Lieutenant Governors last year, he was very rank in his next two starts and in both races he was spent by the time he hit the stretch. If he's relaxed early, Spaghetti Mouse is as good as any horse at Hastings. Dave Wilson was aboard for all of Spaghetti Mouse's previous wins.

"I didn't make the rider change because of the way Davie rode the horse," said Dubois. "Obviously, Davie has done very well with him. It's just that Pedro came in early this year and he was the main exercise rider for the barn. He got on Archie every day and we both worked very hard at getting him to relax. He really knows the horse now and he gave him a perfect ride in the Longden."

Spaghetti Mouse looked like he might be a little rank going into the first turn, but once he settled down coming out of the turn, he looked like the winner every step of the way.

"He was very eager but he really relaxed for me when we came out of the first turn," said Alvarado. "What really impressed me about him was that he was able to relax despite the fact that we were going too slow."

Alvarado was referring to the moderate fractions of 24.39 seconds, 48.72, and 1:13.86. Final time for the Longden was 1:44.62.

The happiest person after Spaghetti Mouse's win appeared to be Pauline Felicella.

"It's nice to see him win but, really, I'm happy for Terry more than anything else," she said. "She has worked very hard and it's great to see her rewarded."

According to Dubois, Spaghetti Mouse came out of the race in great shape and will be pointed to the $100,000 Lieutenant Governors on July 1.

Sir Gallovic's flop baffles trainer

Trainer Troy Taylor was disappointed in the effort by Sir Gallovic in the Longden. Sir Gallovic was sent off as the 4-5 favorite but he was never really involved in the race and finished 4 1/4 lengths behind Bank Emblem, who set the pace and then held on well to finish second.

"I'm not sure exactly where he is right now," said Taylor. "But it seems as if he's just not a hundred percent."

According to Taylor, Sir Gallovic had throat surgery following his fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate Fields last November.

Mario Gutierrez has ridden Sir Gallovic in all of his races since Sir Gallovic arrived on the West Coast last August.

"Mario thought he was going to win the All American but he said that all of a sudden he seemed to run out of air," said Taylor. "The surgery went fine but he just hasn't come back all the way yet."

Taylor is considering the Lieutenant Governors as the next start for Sir Gallovic.

"We'll see how he's doing," said Taylor. "He hasn't been back to the track yet but there's plenty of time to sort things out before July 1."