07/12/2004 11:00PM

Villyard on a stakes roll


AUBURN, Wash. - Trainer Aubrey Villyard joked that he is closing in on Bud Klokstad's record of 92 stakes wins at Longacres and Emerald Downs, and it is true that he is picking up his pace.

While it took Villyard 20 years to score his first added-money victory with Sat in Session in 1993, it took only 11 years for him to notch his second with Random Memo in the Tacoma Handicap on June 27. Last Sunday, just two weeks later, the trainer got his third stakes score courtesy of Charming Colleen, who won the six-furlong Angie C. for juvenile fillies in a fashion that suggested she will win many more.

Making just her second start under jockey Gallyn Mitchell, the undefeated Charming Colleen stalked the pace through a quarter-mile in 22 seconds, forged to the front with a half-mile in 45.20, and turned back a determined bid from Queenledo to score by a half-length in 1:10.80. Queenledo was later disqualified from second and placed seventh for interfering with Rosieontop, the 5-2 second choice behind Charming Colleen at even money.

"She's just a flat racehorse," said Mitchell. "She does everything right. She's just push-button. It's fun riding one like her."

Villyard said he fell in love with Charming Colleen, a strapping daughter of Charismatic, when he and owner Frank Gaunt saw her at last October's Barretts sale.

"I loved her conformation, and I loved the way she acted," said the trainer. "With everything that is going on at a sale, most yearlings get a little rambunctious. She was a professional from day one."

Villyard expected Charming Colleen, who cost $32,000, to be a good filly. He never expected her to be nearly as precocious as she has proven to be, since her sire needed time and distance to blossom into a dual classic winner.

"She has been quite a surprise in that way, and it makes me wonder how good she might become," he said. "She is bred to go long, and she looks like a route horse. Unless I miss my guess, she'll get better the farther they go."

If Villyard is right, the others in the division could be in for a long summer. The Knights Choice Stakes on Aug. 1 will be run at 6 1/2 furlongs, while the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes on Aug. 28 will be run at a mile. Charming Colleen, a California-bred, is not eligible for the six-furlong Diane Kem Stakes on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 19.

Ema Bovary getting a breather

Could Ema Bovary run in this year's Longacres Mile? It's an intriguing notion, but apparently not an irresistible one.

"Larry said she is going to get 60 days off now," reported Sharon Ross, wife of trainer Larry Ross. "He said she came out of her race very tired."

The 5-year-old Ema Bovary, who won two stakes at Emerald last season, had reason to be tired after her powerhouse two-length win over Bear Fan in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder. The victory was Ema Bovary's 10th from 12 starts since arriving in the United States from Chile early in 2003, and the $294,000 winner's prize boosted her earnings to $721,642.

"The plan is to rest her up for a fall campaign at Santa Anita," said Ross. "There are a couple of graded sprint stakes there that should suit her pretty nicely."

Ema Bovary is not Breeders' Cup-nominated, and owners Rick Beal and Lana Ramsey-Borg have no plans to supplement her to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Lone Star on Oct. 30.

Hall honorees to be names Sept. 1

Four new inductees to the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame will be chosen from a list of 18 nominees that was released last week.

The inductees, who will be announced on Sept. 1, will include one jockey, one trainer, one breeder, and one horse. To be eligible, a horse must either be a Washington-bred or have raced at least twice in Washington. Trainers and jockeys must have been born in Washington or have competed at a Washington track for at least three full seasons. Breeders must have bred at least one Washington-bred.

The jockeys nominated are Johnny Adams, Russell Baze, Doug Dodson, Basil James, and Alberto Johnson.

The trainers are Frances Keller, Bud Klokstad, R.H. "Red" McDaniel, Charlie Whittingham, and Glen Williams.

George Drumheller, C.F. Flower, and C.J. Sebastion are the nominated breeders.

The horses are Saratoga Passage, Sir William, Smogy Dew, Sparrow Castle, and Turbulator.

Last year's original inductees into the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame were jockeys Gary Stevens, Gary Baze, and Ralph Neves; trainers Allen Drumheller, Jim Penney, and Tom Smith; horses Trooper Seven, Chinook Pass, and Captain Condo; and breeders Herb Armstrong and Jerre Paxton. Joe Gottstein, the founder of Longacres, was also inducted for his lifetime achievements.

* The Washington Horse Racing Commission will meet Thursday, July 15, at 1 p.m. in the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's Sales Pavilion to discuss fingerprint and licensing fees for 2005 with any interested parties.