08/03/2005 11:00PM

Villeneuve out six weeks following spill


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Francine Villeneuve, Canada's career wins leader among female jockeys, is expected to be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks while recuperating from a dislocated shoulder sustained in a spill at Fort Erie last weekend.

In Sunday's seventh race, Villeneuve bailed out of the saddle from Good Luck Strikes when she felt the left front foreleg of her mount break. Good Luck Strikes was contending on the outside at the time and Villeneuve landed clear but on her shoulder.

Although the shoulder was dislocated, surgery will not be necessary, according to Villeneuve.

"I will be wearing a sling for a month and then there's physiotherapy," she said.

Good Luck Strikes was euthanized.

Villeneuve, 40, is in the midst of one her best seasons. She is presently in second place in the Fort Erie standings with 47 wins, five behind Chad Beckon.

"It would have been nice to win at least one title," said Villeneuve.

The injury will prevent Villeneuve from riding Autumn Snow at Woodbine in Sunday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the final leg of Canada's Triple Crown.

Villeneuve was second with Autumn Snow in the Prince of Wales, beaten a neck by Ablo, who is expected to miss the Breeders' Stakes.

20 years later, a second four-win day

Daniel David had five mounts on Tuesday and scored with four of them. All paid off at double digits - Nykee ($19.10), Sobers Lane ($10.20), Devil's Reason ($11.30), and Via Columbo ($19.20).

David's other mount, Stroll On, finished second at 5-1.

"It has been 20 years since I've had four winners in one day," said David. "It was at Woodbine in 1985, when I was a bug."

Sobers Lane on a roll

Sobers Lane became the first horse to win four times at the meet with his fourth consecutive victory on Tuesday.

Owned by Gary Chudobiak's Circle J Ranch, Sobers Lane, 5, gave trainer Stacey Cooper her eighth win of the year from just 21 starts. Last year, Cooper was 3 for 28.

Chudobiak credited Cooper and her partner, Nick Mileni, with the dramatic improvement shown by Sobers Lane this season.

"Stacey and Nick Mileni have done an absolutely superb job with this animal since last year," said Chudobiak. "They turned him around and he has gotten better every start. Stacey is the most underrated trainer on the grounds."

According to Chudobiak, he claimed Sobers Lane for $5,000 out of his first lifetime start. The horse is now 7 for 26 lifetime.

Jockey from Philippines finally resumes riding

Edgardo Manalad, 48, a newcomer to the Fort this year, rode his third winner Sunday. Manalad won aboard Compadre Just Ten ($21.10). Going into Saturday's card, Manalad has had just 29 mounts.

Manalad came to Canada 10 years ago, hoping to continue his jockey career. He learned the trade in his native Philippines, where he rode for 12 years.

"I graduated from the Jockey Academy in Manila," said Manalad. "I won lots of races there and I was leading jockey two times."

But in Canada, Manalad had difficulty finding mounts.

"It was very hard to get started," he said.

Manalad didn't get to ride a race until last year. He rode in only two races, both on also-rans at Woodbine. He took his tack to the Fort this spring.

At Woodbine, Manalad was an exercise rider who galloped horses for many trainers, including Mac Benson, Audre Cappuccitti, Norm McKnight, and Mike DePaulo.