05/22/2003 11:00PM

Two good claims help revive Neubauer's barn

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FORT ERIE, Ontario - Myckie Neubauer, who has been training since 1988, had such a good season in 2002 she didn't want it to end.

Neubauer won 18 races at Fort Erie for earnings of $490,770. Plus she had seven victories at Woodbine from 20 starts, picking up another $251,238.

Neubauer plays the claiming game and shares in the ownership of most of her runners. Just two years earlier, after a four-win season, she was considering dropping out.

Neubauer and her husband, Carl Norris, who assists her, received stalls last year at Frank Stronach's new training center, Palm Meadows, in Florida. For the first time, winter racing at Gulfstream Park was part of the outfit's agenda.

The couple, however, had little to cheer about during the new venture. Their handful of runners went winless. And two of the top ones, Best of the Duck, and Exclusive Run, were lost through claims.

As it turned out, however, the excursion has proved to be fruitful. Thanks to two astute claims, and fitness gained by their horses in Florida, the barn is off to a bang-up start in the opening month of the Fort's season. From six starts heading into Saturday, Neubauer had registered four wins, a second, and a third.

Diablo's Peak, a 7-year-old mare, was a $25,000 claim in January. She has won twice at the Fort, for $33,360 in earnings. Olympic Advice, a 3-year-old filly claimed for $16,000 out of a 6 1/4-length win in February, won her first try on Canadian soil on Tuesday. Despite a troubled start, she scored by 2 1/2 lengths and picked up $17,340 in the mile and 70-yard allowance race.

"We were offered a huge profit for Olympic Advice after we got her in a shake," said Norris. "She had won easily."

Last Sunday, the barn's Go Figure scored at six furlongs. According to Neubauer, he was the only runner she had who ran what should have been a winning race while in Florida. The others weren't good enough.

"He was turning for home on the turf at Gulfstream when he got wiped out," said Neubauer. "Yet he was only beaten two lengths. I could never get him back in a race. At Woodbine, we entered four or five times but the races weren't filling.

"When the sprint came up here, I figured I better run him. He was a wild man in the stall, trying to tear it down."

Neubauer intends on competing in both June 15 events that begin the stakes season at the Fort. Go Figure is headed for the Bridgeburg and Diablo's Peak to the Adena Springs Matchmaker, which is the first scheduled turf race of the meeting.

Right Stop points for Bridgeburg

Tom Agosti, who again wintered horses at Tampa Bay, has the Bridgeburg on the schedule of 5-year-old gelding Right Stop. Right Stop won 5 of his 11 starts last year and had earnings of $128,102.

Right Stop has had three races this year. In his latest, May 9 at Woodbine, Right Stop finished second in a starter allowance event.

"He took the winter off," said Agosti. "I started him up in February in an allowance race. He won. Then he ran in a tough stakes race going short. He doesn't want to do that, but it was the only race for him. He only lost by three lengths. With no races for him it will be a five-week wait to the Bridgeburg."

A miserable winter in New England

Trainer Dan Poliziani described his winter at Suffolk Downs as horrible. He managed just two wins from 52 starts.

"The deep racetracks were hard on the horses so I decided to ship some back here to freshen up," said Poliziani. "So I didn't have much to run there."

Poliziani is off to a good beginning here with three wins and three seconds in 10 starts going into Saturday's card.