06/21/2007 11:00PM

True Metropolitan has return ticket


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Terry Jordan is planing to bring True Metropolitan back to the West Coast after he runs in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dominion Day at Woodbine on July 1.

The main reason for bringing True Metropolitan back is that the purse for the Aug. 19 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs has been boosted to $400,000. Jordan is also planning on running True Metropolitan in the B.C. Cup Classic at Hastings Aug. 6.

True Metropolitan, who is owned by Bob Cheema, was the champion older handicap horse on dirt in Canada last year. He won the George Royal Stakes in his first start at Hastings this year, and then Jordan shipped him to Woodbine, where he finished third in the Grade 3 Eclipse. He rebounded with a sharp front-running win in a prep for the Dominion Day June 8.

"We're about 90 percent sure were coming back for the Classic and the Mile," said Jordan. "It's not just the money, but also because Bob believes in supporting the local industry, and he likes to see his horses run at Hastings. Of course if he wins by 10 lengths in the Dominion Day, we might stay put."

Jordan and Cheema almost won the Longacres Mile with Quiet Cash in 2005, and they know it can be a very tough race to win.

"It all depends on who shows up for the Mile," said Jordan. "For $400,000, there could be some real tough ones coming up from California. If it looks too tough, we'll look for another race for him."

Jordan's main base of operation is at Hastings, but he has a small string of horses at Woodbine as well. It's the first time he has ever split up his stable. Jordan, who is 65, has logged a lot of air miles lately. He said all the traveling is starting to wear him down a bit.

"It's a long haul back there," he said. "I think I've worked things out where I won't have to be going back and forth as much. I have a really good crew in both places, which makes things a lot easier. You have to have a good crew or you're out of business. Honestly, you're only as good as your help."

Running the show at Woodbine is his assistant trainer, Erin Cotterill.

Former jockey part of the team

Danny Williams is also a major part of Jordan's Eastern operation. Williams has been involved in horse racing his whole life. His father, Ronnie Williams, who died at 32 when Williams was just 8 years old, was a top jockey in British Columbia and is in the province's Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Williams was a very good jockey himself. He was the leading apprentice at Hastings in 1978 and he won close to 500 races before he retired in 1982 because of his weight.

"Let's just say I had a short but sweet career," said Williams.

After Williams retired from riding he had a successful career as a jockey agent at Hastings. He also served as the assistant racing secretary for two years. He came to Woodbine as the agent for Gerry Olguin in 2000. Last year, Williams took over as the agent for Jim McAleney. Because McAleney was injured earlier this year Williams has the time to work as an exercise rider for Jordan.

"I'm really enjoying it," said Williams. "I've always liked getting on horses, and every horse in the barn is a good one. Terry wouldn't have shipped them all the way across the country if they couldn't run. They're all training very well."

Williams also referred to himself as an "adviser" to Jordan. As a jockey agent, he has a very good sense of where Jordan's horses fit.

"Terry's pretty aggressive in spotting his horses, and it shows by his outstanding record," he said. "He wanted to enter Steady Smiler for $16,000, and it wasn't easy to convince him that he could win for $25,000."

In his first start at Woodbine June 15, Steady Smiler won a $25,000 claiming race and paid $24.40.

The Jordan barn is off to a very good start at Woodbine, winning with 4 of its first 8 starters.

"We're hitting at 50 percent, and I think we might start climbing from there," said Williams.

One of the horses Jordan and Williams are looking forward to seeing run at Woodbine is Dancing Allstar. A 2-year-old filly by Millennium Allstar, Dancing Allstar was a very impressive winner of a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race at Hastings May 6. She is scheduled to run in the $125,000 My Dear Stakes on July 2.

Williams was very pleased with her five-furlong work in 1:01 with Todd Kabel aboard Friday morning.

"I told Todd to go as slow as he could, because she did a little too much in her previous work," said Williams. "He had a pretty good hold of her, and he was very happy with the work. He really likes her."

Although Williams is enjoying working in the Jordan barn, he will be happy to get back to booking mounts for McAleney, who is one of the top riders at Woodbine. Last year, McAleney's mounts earned over $5.6 million.

"I'm not sure when he'll be ready to come back," said Williams. "It's like bringing back a really good horse. He's not coming back until he's absolutely 100 percent. Until then, this is just fine. I've known Terry my whole life, and we get along great. I'm very lucky that something like this came along to keep me busy until Jim's ready to resume riding."