11/19/2007 12:00AM

U.S. invaders sweep Sunday stakes

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - A pair of shippers from south of the border registered their first stakes wins here at Woodbine on Sunday.

Connections, trained at Hawthorne by Mike Dini, captured the Grade 3, $127,400 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Initiation, trained by Graham Motion at his base in Fair Hill, Md., took the $133,900 Glorious Song, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

The Kennedy Road was the first stakes win at Woodbine for Dini. It was his first graded stakes and the sixth stakes win of his career.

Motion notched his 155th stakes win, with 46 of those coming in graded events, and his seventh stakes score at Woodbine.

Jeremy Rose rode both the Kennedy Road and Glorious Song winners.

Rose, who also guided Globetrotter to victory for Motion in the Grade 3 Grey here Oct. 8, now has won three stakes from four mounts here.

Connections, a 6-year-old gelding who was claimed for $35,000 at Arlington last June, seemed destined for big things after winning his seasonal bow at Keeneland on April 27. But while preparing at Arlington for his next start, Connections came up with swelling around his tendon and Dini had to put his campaign on hold.

Dini and owner Kathleen Manhatton had Connections treated in a hyperbaric chamber. Connections responded so well that he returned to action with a third-place finish in a stakes race at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 15.

"I think he needed the race," Dini said. "The whole plan was to race him in the Phoenix at Keeneland."

Connections finished sixth in the Grade 3 Phoenix, beaten four lengths, so Dini went back to the drawing board and came up with the Kennedy Road.

"I thought we'd bring him up for the prep, and if he ran good we'd come back," said Dini, whose only previous starter here had been the seventh-place finisher Rockhurst in the 2005 Nearctic.

Connections passed his test in the six-furlong prep here Oct. 28, closing smartly to finish two lengths back in third.

"He had sort of a rough trip there," said Dini, who took Connections home to Hawthorne and arrived back at Woodbine last Saturday afternoon. "He really likes an artificial surface. I would have had him up here earlier in the summer if he hadn't got hurt."

Initiation, making her third start in the Glorious Song, was cutting back in distance after finishing fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland.

"She ran a very professional race," Motion said.

Initiation was on her way back to Fair Hill on Monday and is slated to be part of a Motion contingent that soon will head for California.

Her first major target there would be the Grade 1, $250,000 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies Dec. 15. The race will be run over Cushion Track.

"She obviously handles Polytrack, so logically that would seem the way to go," Motion said. "I don't think going back out to two turns will be a problem. She handled two turns well enough at Keeneland."

True Metropolitan clinches title

It will be difficult to prevent True Metropolitan from taking a second straight Sovereign Award as champion older male after his victory here in last Saturday's Grade 3, $151,200 Autumn.

"I told the owner on Saturday morning I'd never seen him better," said Terry Jordan, who trains True Metropolitan for Bob Cheema. "I said if he didn't win, it would be because he just wasn't good enough."

It turned out that there were no concerns on that score.

True Metropolitan, under jockey Jim McAleney, tracked the pace of front-running longshot Fuhrever Dancer before taking charge late on the turn and holding sway for a half-length length victory over the talented 3-year-old Leonnatus Anteas.

"You couldn't have asked for a more perfect ride," Jordan said. "He wasn't going to let that horse go by."

A 5-year-old gelding, True Metropolitan winds up his 2007 campaign with a record of 7-1-1 and earnings of $458,240 from 10 starts this season. He won two stakes in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.

True Metropolitan is scheduled to head home to Vancouver on Wednesday and will get the winter off.

"I'll spring train him in Vancouver, and probably start him once there," Jordan said.

Jordan, who has compiled an enviable record of 16-11-4 from 59 starts at this meeting, would like to increase his participation here next season.

"This year was very hard," Jordan said. "I basically only had five or six stalls and I had 10 or 11 horses.

"It didn't work out that well. I'd have to keep them on the farm and ship them in. It's not fair to the horses or to the clients."

Dancing Allstar misses start

Dancing Allstar appeared to have a shot at giving Jordan and Cheema a weekend stakes double here in the Glorious Song, but did not make it to the gate.

"She had a little abscess in her foot," Jordan said Sunday afternoon. "It just showed up this morning.

"I could probably have run her, but I would have felt horrible if she'd got off that foot and hurt herself somewhere else."

Dancing Allstar, a British Columbia-bred, also will head home as a candidate for Sovereign Award honors in her division.

Compiling a record of 5 wins and 2 seconds from 7 starts, Dancing Allstar earned $306,002 with stakes victories here in the My Dear and at Hastings in the CTHS Sales, Sadie Diamond Futurity, and Fantasy.

Her runner-up efforts came here in the Colin and the Ontario Debutante.

Ankle fracture sidelines Fraser

Jockey Corey Fraser is through for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left ankle Sunday afternoon following a spill during training hours.

Lorne Spearman, who represents Fraser, said the jockey had a pin and screws inserted to stabilize the fracture and would need two months to recuperate.

Fraser finishes the Woodbine meeting with 41 wins, 50 seconds, 43 thirds, and earnings of more than $2.3 million from 382 mounts.