10/17/2007 11:00PM

Trip east will raise the bar for Monashee

EmailVANCOUVER, British Columbia - It's not surprising that owner Ole Nielsen was feeling pretty confident when he came into the paddock with Monashee prior to the running of the Grade 3, $129,048 Ballerina Breeders' Cup at Hastings last Saturday. After all, Monashee was going for her 11th straight stakes win, and after carrying 130 pounds in the Delta Colleen Handicap, giving up to 18 pounds to her rivals, she was on equal terms in the Ballerina, where all four horses packed 123 pounds.

With Dave Wilson aboard, Monashee went right to the lead and when Nielsen saw that she went the first half-mile in 49.13 seconds, he was pretty sure the race was over.

He was right. With Wilson sitting as still as a statue for the whole race, Monashee cruised to one of her easiest wins, even though the margin of victory was only 1 1/4 lengths.

"That was it as far as I was concerned," said Nielsen, referring to the half-mile time. "She works faster than that and Davie was basically standing up on her the rest of the way."

The Ballerina was little more than a public workout for Monashee. If she had been working, the move would have been classified as "breezing."

"It doesn't get much easier than that," said Wilson. "Actually, when we went past the starting gate to pull up after the race was over she wanted to take off again. I think she was a bit disappointed that I never turned her loose."

Nielsen said Monashee, who is trained by Tracy McCarthy, was actually mad.

"Tracy said that Monashee was so wound up that she wouldn't let them give her a bath in the test barn," said Nielsen. "She seemed to be pretty upset about not getting a chance to really run."

McCarthy has a very sharp horse on her hands right now.

"She's just wild right now and that's the worst she's been after any of her races," said McCarthy. "We've got to give her something to do to tire her out before we go to Toronto."

The next race for Monashee will be Nov. 10 at Woodbine in the $175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes. Nielsen isn't concerned about Monashee getting the 1 1/4-mile distance of the race or the fact that she will be running on Polytrack for the first time.

"In the Ballerina she ran the last three-eighths in 36, and I think she would love to go a mile and a half," Nielsen said. "Plus, she'll run on anything, so I don't think the Polytrack will be a problem."

Monashee will be facing a lot tougher horses in the Maple Leaf, including the 2006 Sovereign older mare winner, Financingavailable. If Monashee wins the Maple Leaf she would likely sway enough Eastern voters to win the Sovereign Award this year. The way she has dominated the horses in Alberta and British Columbia, she's certainly going to get any vote coming out of Western Canada.

True Metropolitan headed to Woodbine

True Metropolitan is also a leading candidate for a Sovereign Award, and if he wins his next start in the $150,000 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine on Nov. 17, there's a good chance he will win the older horse award for the second year in a row.

True Metropolitan, who is trained by Terry Jordan, lost the Grade 3 Premiers by a neck to Sir Gallovic last Sunday, but he was carrying 129 pounds. He also lost a shoe at some point in the race. The game defeat certainly didn't tarnish his reputation.

"It's a shame he lost because but he really showed what kind of horse he is to run as well as he did carrying that much weight and losing the shoe," said Jordan. "I'm sure he lost the shoe in the race because when he got back to the barn his foot was a bit scuffed up. It didn't hurt him and it's not a big deal, but it might have cost him the race."

According to Jordan, True Metropolitan came out of the race in good shape and was scheduled to fly to Toronto on Wednesday, but the flight was canceled. Jordan hopes to have the horse sent to Woodbine by this weekend.

With the win by Monashee and the loss by True Metropolitan, Monashee probably secured her second local horse of the year title. She was also the horse of the year in British Columbia in 2005.

Sir Gallovic may try turf in California

Sir Gallovic, who is trained by Troy Taylor, also came out of the Premiers in good shape and will be sent to California, where he will make his next start at either Hollywood Park or Santa Anita.

"We're taking a few horses to Northern California so he is coming with us," said Taylor. "The plan is to keep him in light training for about a month to freshen him up a bit and then look for a race down south, possibly on the grass."

Taylor gave a lot of credit to jockey Mario Gutierrez for Sir Gallovic's win over True Metropolitan. Gutierrez had Sir Gallovic in a comfortable position just behind True Metropolitan, who was stalking the pacesetter, Newton John. Gutierrez made an early move at the three-eighths pole to pass True Metropolitan. If Sir Gallovic had come up short, Gutierrez might have been criticized for moving too early. Instead, Quincy Welch, who was aboard True Metropolitan, might have waited too long.

"Mario was very smart to move him when he did," said Taylor. "He won the race for us right there. That was also a pretty nice horse he beat."

Sir Gallovic carried 116 pounds in the Premiers, 13 fewer than True Metropolitan.