09/22/2008 11:00PM

Walls vows Stolonboy will run better


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Artie Hot pulled off one of the major stakes upsets of the Woodbine meeting in last year's Ontario Derby, leaving Prince of Wales winner Alezzandro and Queen's Plate winner Mike Fox in his wake while scoring at 33-1.

This Sunday, trainer Joe Walls will be looking to build on that upset tradition when he sends out Stolonboy, who will be making his stakes debut in the $150,000 Ontario Derby at 1 1/8 miles.

"I'm going to give him a shot in the derby," said Walls."It's the last 3-year-old stakes for him. He won't be disgraced."

Stolonboy, a Kentucky-bred, failed to win in five starts here as a 2-year-old but did turn in two solid runner-up efforts at 1 1/16 miles.

After graduating at that distance in his 10th career start here July 6, Stolonboy followed up with a close fourth-place finish in a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles and a romping win under the same terms at 1 1/16 miles here Aug. 20.

In his last outing, which came in a 1 1/8-mile second-level optional $62,500 claimer on Sept. 6, Stolonboy finished a rather flat fourth in an effort that Walls prefers to forget.

"No comment," said Walls. "There won't be a repeat of it, let me tell you."

Emile Ramsammy, who rode Stolonboy to his impressive allowance score on Aug. 20, has regained the mount for the Ontario Derby.

Walls also has a pair of promising 2-year-old prospects in Contango and Beauseant.

Contango, a Kentucky-bred colt, finished a closing third in his 5 1/2-furlong debut here Aug. 22 and returned two weeks later with a front-running 7 3/4-length score at six furlongs.

"He's just a lovely horse," said Walls. "He had a bad trip in his first start; he got annihilated out of the gate. But he got the job done, in style, last time.

"I'll try to find a winner's race for him, then that will be it. He doesn't need to do a lot this year. I'll let him go out and grow up over the winter."

Beauseant, a Kentucky-bred filly, debuted at a mile and 70 yards here Sept. 11 and finished fifth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths.

"Going two turns, in the first start of her life, it was a really creditable race," said Walls.

Beauseant is nominated to the Grade 3, $250,000 Mazarine, a 1 1/16- mile race for 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 5.

Delaforce should relish nine furlongs

Nick Gonzalez, who trains Artie Hot, has a candidate for this year's Ontario Derby in Delaforce.

Delaforce is heading into the Ontario Derby off a second-place finish in the Vice Regent, a one-mile turf stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds here Aug. 31.

"I breezed him the other day and he came back perfect," said assistant trainer Martha Gonzalez, who runs the stable's Woodbine division for her husband. "He's maintained his weight really well, and he's grown a lot over the last two months."

The 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby will represent the longest test yet for Delaforce, who became a stakes winner in the restricted Kingarvie at 1 1/16 miles here last December.

"The mile and an eighth won't bother him," said Gonzalez. "He'll do what the rider wants him to do, once he gets covered up."

Artie Hot, who recorded another notable upset when he defeated former Canadian champions True Metropolitan and Palladio here in the July 27 Seagram Cup, disappointed when returning to action at Presque Isle Downs last Saturday.

Under Dale Beckner, one of the top riders at that meeting, Artie Hot finished fifth of seven at 2-1.

"He made a middle move, but just kind of flattened out," said Gonzalez.

Notgivinmyloveaway flops as favorite

Notgivinmyloveaway, trained here by Reade Baker, also came up short at Presque Isle when he finished last of eight as the odds-on favorite in last Friday's one-mile Dusty Screen.

"I think, in my heart, it's because he was a sprinter going long for the second time, although I don't know whether that often applies to horses coming from behind," said Baker. "I have no other excuse for him. He came back sound and healthy."

Eurico Rosa da Silva, who journeyed down from Woodbine for the mount, had guided Notgivinmyloveaway to a convincing allowance score there at a mile and 70 yards on Sept. 1.

Baker still won a race at Presque Isle last weekend as Bear It's True, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old colt, aired it out by 6 3/4 lengths in a first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Baker ships pair for Kentucky Cup

Bear Now and Fatal Bullet, both trained by Baker, left Woodbine at about 9 a.m. Tuesday for their engagements at Turfway Park this Saturday.

Bear Now will run in the Grade 3, $100,000 Kentucky Cup Distaff, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares

Fatal Bullet's target is the Grade 3, $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds.

Da Silva has the calls on both Bear Now and Fatal Bullet.

Shillelagh Slew retired

Shillelagh Slew, Canada's champion 3-year-old male in 2006, has been retired and is preparing for a stud career at a location to be determined.

"He had one hock that kind of gave us some trouble," said Mike DePaulo, who trained Shillelagh Slew for owner David James. "He banged it in his stall this summer, and it kind of filled up. We never really got it just right again."

Shillelagh Slew won 5 of 17 starts and $827,997.

His major successes included the Prince of Wales Stakes, the Grade 3 Ontario Derby, and the Grade 3 Canadian Derby.