12/01/2008 1:00AM

Two end year with flourish


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Milwaukee Appeal and Parabola, a pair of promising Canadian-breds, closed out their first campaigns in fine style, suggesting the promise of better things to come in the major races for their divisions next year.

Milwaukee Appeal, a homebred who races for CEC Farm and is trained by Scott Fairlie, became a stakes winner here in Sunday's $151,200 Ontario Lassie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

Parabola, a homebred gelding who races for Janet Jeanpierre and is trained by Barbara Minshall, made a successful stakes debut in Saturday's $127,400 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Milwaukee Appeal had come into the Ontario Lassie off a second-place finish behind Retraceable in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Nov. 30.

Although she was beaten 3 1/4 lengths that day, Milwaukee Appeal turned the tables with a 1 1/4-length victory over the odds-on Retraceable in the Ontario Lassie.

"She basically ran the same race, but she was just a little better this time," said Fairlie. "She's been improving from Day 1, this filly."

Milwaukee Appeal had finished third debuting at the $32,000 claiming level on July 10 and then won for $40,000 two weeks later, with both races coming at five furlongs.

"That's where she had to run at that point, to be competitive," said Fairlie. "It's hard to say at that point in their careers where they're going to go, when they're only running five furlongs."

Milwaukee Appeal went on to score in a first-level allowance at six furlongs but then was a soundly beaten seventh when moving into stakes company for the Grade 3 Natalma, at one mile on soft turf.

"She didn't handle the track at all," said Fairlie. "But she came out of the race good and it seemed like she was moving forward. Her attitude was good, and she was training very good."

Milwaukee Appeal will winter in Florida at Wings Ranch, where she was educated as a yearling and trained this past spring.

"She'll get a month off, and we'll start her up there in January," said Fairlie. "We want her to be up here in April - we'll have to look at the Oaks."

Next year's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the 1 1/8-mile race that is the premier prize for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, is scheduled for June 7.

Milwaukee Appeal was the fourth stakes winner of the season for Fairlie and the first for jockey Na Somsanith.

Fairlie's other three stakes scores came courtesy of Cawaja Beach, an Ontario-sired 2-year-old filly who was undefeated in four starts before being sidelined prior to the Princess Elizabeth with a lesion in one of her tendons.

"She's still here at the track," said Fairlie. "She's being treated with stem-cell therapy; she's doing very well.

"She'll go to the farm soon and just rest up there until she's ready to resume training."

Minshall sees work still to do

Parabola, another refugee from the claiming ranks, had finished third for $25,000 in his fourth career start but then graduated smartly at 1 1/16 miles before the Kingarvie.

While obviously pleased with Parabola's progress, Minshall can still see some areas for improvement.

"I'd like him to learn to change his leads," said Minshall, noting that Parabola had not made the proper transition for the stretch run in the Kingarvie.

"He's slow at doing it in the mornings, but he does do it," she said. "Hopefully as he matures, he'll learn. He still seems to find another gear on his wrong lead."

Parabola's prerace manners are another area of concern.

"He's a little nervous in the paddock," said Minshall. "I have to thank the valets - they saddle him on the walk for me."

Parabola will spend his offseason in Ontario, at Gardiner Farm.

"He needs a good several weeks of R and R," said Minshall. "We'll give him a chance to fill out a little more."

Parabola was the first stakes winner of the season for Minshall and the third for his jockey, Justin Stein.

Society's Chairman off to Florida

Trainer Roger Attfield, who will send out the favored Sand Cove for Wednesday's $125,000 Sir Barton, also nominated Society's Chairman but did not enter that 5-year-old horse.

"When he worked the other day up there, he didn't finish quite like he should," said Attfield, from his offseason base at Payson Park in Florida. "He came back with quite a bit of mucus.

"He'll come down here, and he'll have plenty of places to run."

Riders neck and neck

What a difference a week makes.

Heading into last Wednesday's program, Jim McAleney seemed to be sitting pretty atop the jockey standings, with a lead of nine wins over second-place Patrick Husbands.

Now, with just five days left in the meeting, McAleney and Husbands are tied for the top spot with 157 wins after Husbands went on a tear that included a five-day win on Thursday and a triple on Friday.

Husbands leads in money won with just over $9 million. McAleney is next, with more than $8.3 million.

Last year, Husbands won 149 races for purses of more than $9.1 million to lead his peers in both categories.

There is no suspense in the trainer race, as Mark Casse entered the final week as the leader in both races won with 74 and in money won with more than $5.6 million.

Casse also was the leading trainer in both categories last year with 84 wins and more than $5.7 million.

Sid Attard is second in races won at the current meeting with 55, while Attfield stands second in purses with more than $4.1 million.

There will be plenty of racing opportunities during this final week of the meeting with nine races set for Wednesday, 10 scheduled for Thursday and Friday, 11 for Saturday, and 13 for Sunday.

First post has been moved up by a half-hour for Saturday and Sunday and will be 12:40 p.m.

If the 13 races fill Sunday, then the last race of the season will be scheduled for 6:29 p.m.