11/22/2007 1:00AM

Vella puts new rider, blinkers on Cool Gator

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Cool Gator is coming off back-to-back second-place finishes in $250,000 races, having been beaten a head in the 1 1/16-mile Grey and 1 1/4 lengths in the 1o1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.

On Saturday, Cool Gator will be looking to close the deal in the $125,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Woodbine.

"Certainly it was an artificial pace last time, which hurt all the horses coming from behind," said Vella of the Coronation Futurity. "On top of that, I think he ran a little immature. He does have trouble with his attention."

Vella is making a couple of changes that he hopes will get Cool Gator to concentrate on the task at hand. Jockey Emile Ramsammy will take over and blinkers will be added to the colt's equipment.

Ramsammy was aboard when Cool Gator worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.80 seconds with the blinkers on here Monday.

"It was a superior work," said Vella. "He did it quite easily."

Cool Gator was bred in Ontario by his owner, Garland Williamson. The colt is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Like a Gem.

Cryptonite Kid, an Alberta-bred colt, also will represent the Vella barn in the Display.

Owned by Class Action Stable, a syndicate that includes Vella, Cryptonite Kid will be switching to Polytrack after making his first four starts on turf.

"The way he's been training, he should run very well," said Vella, who sent out Cryptonite Kid to work five furlongs in 1:00.80 here Monday. "He's kind of the opposite type of horse to Cool Gator. He's a talented horse but he's very professional, does everything right. If his form carries over he'll be very tough to beat, because he doesn't make many mistakes."

Cryptonite Kid is coming off a second-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer, beaten a neck. Prior to that, Cryptonite Kid had finished a close fourth in the Grade 3 Summer over one mile .

The Display, which runs as the sixth race, will be part of a live four-race package televised live on SUN television network. The two-hour show will begin at 2 p.m.

Dance to My Tune ready for Bessarabian

Dance to My Tune won the seven-furlong Jammed Lovely for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here Nov. 11, and will swing back at the same distance here Sunday to face older fillies and mares in the $150,000 Bessarabian.

Trainer Dave Cotey described Dance to My Tune's disposition as "absolutely wild."

"She's a handful when you take her out to the track, and a handful when you bring her back home," he said. "She came out of that last race great; she's ready to go again. She enjoys the game."

Dance to My Tune started twice here at 2, finishing third for a $60,000 tag in her second outing. After winning her maiden over 1 1/16 miles in her second try this year, Dance to My Tune failed to make an impression on the best of her division in the 1 1/16-mile Selene and 1o1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks.

Dance to My Tune has been a model of consistency since then, however, fashioning a 3-3-1 record from 7 starts which has boosted her seasonal bankroll to $352,545.

She also has displayed versatility, finishing second in her first try on dirt when shipped west for the one-mile Assiniboia Oaks and second here in the Carotene over 1 1/8 miles of turf before shortening up to take the Jammed Lovely.

"In her early races, she didn't have it all together yet," said Cotey. "She's really improved from the summer. Ever since her western trip, she's picked it up.

"She's not going to get any better than she is right now. I think she'll run an honest race."

Four stakes left after this weekend

After the Bessarabian, there will be just four stakes left to run at the meeting.

Next weekend's features will be the $125,000 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds, and the $150,000 Ontario Lassie, a 1o1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

The $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8, and the $125,000 Valedictory, the traditional closing-day feature at 1 3/4 miles, for Sunday, Dec. 9.

Two jockeys accept suspensions

Ramsammy and Eurico Rosa da Silva both will be serving three-day suspensions next week after withdrawing their appeals of earlier rulings.

Ramsammy is scheduled to sit out the Wednesday through Friday cards while DaSilva's ban runs Thursday through Saturday.

Thursday card cut short

Woodbine canceled racing after the first race on Thursday when the jockeys refused to ride, citing unsafe Polytrack conditions resulting from a snowstorm that hit the Toronto area Thursday morning.

"The riders canceled," said Irwin Driedger, Woodbine's director of racing surfaces. "The track's a little sticky. I'm hoping for a little sun to get rid of some of the snow that we got this morning, which made things difficult."

Racing was scheduled to resume Friday.

* Saturday is scheduled to be the last day of training over the training track, which failed to attract a single worker over the last three days.- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink