08/24/2004 11:00PM

Two have score to settle in the short run


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Two-furlong specialists Pembroke Hall and Bermuda Triangle meet in a rubber match Friday as Fort Erie begins its second-to-last week of the meet.

Bermuda Triangle, a 3-year-old making his fifth lifetime start, snapped 7-year-old Pembroke Hall's 10-race winning streak when they last met on Aug. 3. The streak, all dashes of two furlongs, began with Pembroke Hall's final race of 2002.

The upset was just Bermuda Triangle's second win. His first, also at two furlongs, was on July 13. Pembroke Hall missed that race as he was at Calder July 10 winning the two-furlong, $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes on the Summit of Speed program.

The two runners first clashed June 1, when Bermuda Triangle was a maiden making his first start for trainer Robert Williams, who paid $1,000 for him ($500 plus another $500 should he win) after the horse was badly beaten in his first two races, which were at five furlongs. At 88-1, Bermuda Triangle finished second to Pembroke Hall.

Trainer Don MacRae is predicting redemption for Pembroke Hall's Aug. 3 loss on Friday.

"We're coming to play," said MacRae. "I think my horse will run a little bit better this time. He ran great last time but he just got beat by a horse that was on his game more."

Pembroke Hall, MacRae said, "broke a little sluggish and they got the jump on him."

But MacRae said there was another worry in the race, which is the third on the program.

"There's a monster in there," said MacRae. "He's from Charles Town - Bill the Banker. He didn't run good the last time, but before that he was as fast as they come. We were worried he might run in the Rocket Man.

"We actually got outshaken on him at Charles Town two starts ago for $5,000. He's got a bunch of problems and all that, but he has tremendous speed."

A second starter

MacRae, who is second-leading trainer at the Fort, has an entrymate for Pembroke Hall in the race - Storming on Merit, a 5-year-old mare who had her nine-race winning string broken on Monday by Value of Luck.

Both runners in the entry are owned by Darryl Jackson.

Value of Luck is owned by Bruce Jackson, the father of Darryl Jackson. Cindy Mustoe trains Value of Luck, a 3-year-old filly.

"I had the filly for two weeks," said Mustoe, who credits a clean trip on the outside for Value of Luck's win. "I was told she was a nut and a little goofy. I didn't find her that way. She may be a little flighty but only when brushed. I just jogged her every day in company. You can't rush her."

Poznansky headed for Northlands

Heading into the final two weeks of the meet, Neil Poznansky sits atop the jockeys standings with 61 wins, three more than the runner-up, Brian Bochinski.

When the meet ends here Sept. 6, Poznansky will head for Northlands Park in Edmonton.

"That's where I started, by galloping horses for Red Smith, who is the leading trainer there right now," said Poznansky, a 32-year-old native of Edmonton who was North America's top apprentice in 1996.

"Hopefully, he'll throw me a couple of live ones."