07/29/2008 11:00PM

True Metropolitan leads westward trip


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - True Metropolitan, who had not lost two straight races since opening up his 2006 campaign with three defeats, was the runner-up for the second straight time here in last Sunday's $151,200 Seagram Cup.

"He was the best horse - he just ran a little bit farther than the other horse," said trainer Terry Jordan, who had watched True Metropolitan finish a head back as the Seagram Cup runner-up after Artie Hot slipped up the rail for the stretch drive.

"We elected to get off the rail, because it wasn't playing good. Sometimes you do the right thing and it ends up being wrong."

True Metropolitan, a Florida-bred 6-year-old gelding owned by Bob Cheema, and Canada's champion older male in 2006 and 2007, also finished second in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day here July 1.

True Metropolitan was flown out to Vancouver on Tuesday night, along with stablemates Zounds and Fuhrever Dancing, and is scheduled to make his next start in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Aug. 17.

The Longacres Mile offers a purse of $300,000 and is a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

Stakes plans for two geldings

Zounds and Fuhrever Dancing, also owned by Cheema, have stakes in their immediate future.

A Florida-bred 4-year-old gelding, Zounds is bound for the $100,000 British Columbia Cup Classic, a $100,000 race for 3-year-olds and up over 1 1/8 miles at Hastings on Monday.

Zounds is 3 for 5 at the Woodbine meeting, with his wins coming over six furlongs on Polytrack and 6 1/2 furlongs and seven furlongs on turf.

Fuhrever Dancing was claimed for $60,000 here last Sunday from a third-place finish in a second-level allowance/optional claiming race.

A Kentucky-bred 6-year-old gelding, Fuhrever Dancing's goal is the $50,000 Westerner, a 1 1/16 mile race at Northlands Park on Aug. 17.

Fuhrever Dancing has won just 5 of 44 starts but has finished in the money a total of 26 times, earning $466,444.

Reinforcements on the way

Jordan is sending in fresh troops to replace the recent departees and the stalls vacated by claimed horses.

The barn has lost 10 horses via the claiming route here this spring, including four straight starters between July 20 and July 23.

Dancing Allstar, who has been here with Jordan's assistant, Anita Bolton, since finishing third in the Grade 3 Azalea over six furlongs at Calder on July 12, is slated to make her local seasonal debut in the seven-furlong, $150,000 Duchess on Aug. 9.

Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last season, Dancing Allstar opened up her current campaign with wins in the six-furlong Mount Royal at Stampede Park, the six-furlong Emerald Downs, and 6 1/2-furlong CTHS Sales Stakes at Hastings.

Staying with their own age

Dancing Allstar also was nominated to Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares, but Jordan is electing to keep her on the main track with fellow 3-year-olds.

Another trainer who is following that game plan is Danny Vella, who nominated Verdana Bold to both the Royal North and Duchess and is heading for the Duchess.

A Kentucky-bred owned by Ed Seltzer, Verdana Bold upset the six-furlong Star Shoot and the Grade 3, 1 1/16 mile Selene in her first two local appearances.

Verdana Bold also won on both turf and dirt when trained by Rodney Jenkins in Maryland, but finished sixth when trying the local grass in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow on June 8.

"I think she handles turf as well as Poly; that last race just didn't work out for her," said Vella.

"I was tempted to go into the Royal North, but I figured we'd try and stay with straight 3-year-olds as long as possible."

Outsiders coming again

Shippers have fared well in the Royal North, winning five of the 12 runnings since the race was moved to its current distance and surface.

A trio of invaders will be looking to follow that trend on Saturday, as Akronism is shipping up from Delaware Park for trainer Tim Ritchey, Sea the Joy is due in from Ellis Park for trainer Kelly Ackerman, and Green Door is slated to check in from Arlington Park for trainer Rebecca Maker.

Akronism comes into the Royal North with a record of 7 wins, including 3 stakes, and a total of 12 in-the-money finishes for earnings of $343,872 from 19 starts.

A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, Akronism made her turf debut last time out in the five-furlong Light Hearted at Monmouth and finished a close third.

Eurico Rosa da Silva, who with seven stakes victories is tops in that category for this meeting, picks up the mount on Akronism.

Sea the Joy, also a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, has won 5 of 16 starts, including 3 stakes, and finished second 4 times while earning $176,756.

In her last start, an overnight handicap over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Ellis Park, Sea the Joy pressed the pace before taking charge for a 1 1/4-length victory.

Green Door, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, has won 3 of 9 starts and finished in the money 6 times while banking $75,840.

In her last start, which came in Mountaineer's Firecracker over one mile on grass, Green Door finished second after stalking the pace and leading with a quarter of a mile to run.

Hall of Fame site has new look

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, based here at Woodbine, has redesigned its website.

Canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of horse racing in Canada and offers information about upcoming events including the annual induction ceremony, to be held Aug. 18 at the Mississauga Convention Centre, a photo gallery, and a slide show.

* Apprentice jockey Catherine O'Brien, who has been riding here and at Fort Erie, will be serving a three-day suspension on Sunday through Tuesday after dropping an appeal of an earlier ruling concerning an infraction at the border oval.