08/31/2005 11:00PM

Two holiday spots for Lenny the Lender


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Lenny the Lender, a Fort Erie regular, will be entered in two turf stakes on the holiday weekend at Woodbine, the $125,000 Halton at 1 1/8 miles on Sunday and the Grade 2, $300,000 Niagara at 1 1/2 miles on Monday.

Lenny the Lender, 9, has not won in his last 18 starts. His last score was on Oct. 31, 2002.

He has, however, made good money for his owner-trainer, Dick Jukosky, during that stretch by finishing second in a number of turf stakes.

Lenny the Lender earned $98,282 in 2003 and $93,288 last year. He was second to Mobil in the past two editions of the Halton, and was second in the last two runnings of the Grade 2, $300,000 Sky Classic, also at Woodbine.

"I'm hoping the turf comes up soft for the weekend," said Jukosky. "Lenny would like that. I worked him the other day, and he is ready. He's not an easy horse to get ready."

Jukosky said he would like to avoid the hot A Bit O'Gold, who is expected to go in the Niagara. But if the field is light in Niagara, he might be tempted to take part.

The logical spot for Lenny the Lender is the Halton, even though Mobil is expected to try for his third straight win in the stakes.

"We haven't been able to beat Mobil," said Jukosky. "But a soft turf would give us a better shot against him. He likes firm turf."

Some had thought that Lenny the Lender had to win a race this year in order to compete in Ontario as a 10-year-old. That is not the case, explained Jukosky.

"He could run, but he would not be eligible to have a stall at Woodbine or Fort Erie," said the trainer. "He could come in from a farm. It's when he's 10 he must win a race to continue racing as an 11-year-old."

Hot week for Lauzon

Jocko Lauzon was the riding star the past racing week. Lauzon scored seven times to bring his win total for the meet to 28, and also was second six times. Four of Lauzon's wins came Sunday, including a come-from-last victory on Roman Romance in the six-furlong Longshots OTB Cup.

Lauzon, 43, had three mounts Tuesday, winning with two and finishing second on the other. He now has recorded 1,535 lifetime wins, the bulk of them at Woodbine.

Lauzon has won the Queen's Plate twice - with Regal Intention in 1988 and on Basqueian in 1994.

Sealock having best meet in years

Regina Sealock is enjoying her best season since 2000. She has ridden 16 winners at the meet, four more than all of last year.

From 2001 through to 2003 Sealock averaged 14 wins yearly at the Fort. In 2000, she had 30 wins. Sealock, 44, was the winningest female jockey in Canadian history until Francine Villeneuve passed her in early in 2002.

She operates without an agent.

"I'm content and very happy winning at this rate," said Sealock. "It's an advantage not paying an agent. I have a loyal clientele. I don't have to worry about doing a whole bunch of work for them and finding out that someone else gets the ride."