07/18/2005 11:00PM

Wannatalkaboutme shows her heart

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Wannatalkaboutme, coming from off the pace for the first time, wins the Shady Well.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With Wholelottabourbon on the shelf, the Nick Gonzalez stable needed a new pick-me-up.

That role has been adequately filled by Wannatalkaboutme, who recorded her second straight stakes score here in last Sunday's $162,850 .

Wannatalkaboutme, like Wholelottabourbon, is owned by M.A.D. Racing Stable and Martha Gonzalez, Nick's wife and assistant.

Born with a breathing problem that could ultimately limit her career, Wannatalkaboutme ran for a $40,000 claiming price in her opener and was an easy winner over 4 1/2 furlongs.

The filly came back with a 2 3/4-length tally in the July 2 My Dear, an open race at five furlongs, before facing fellow Ontario foals in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well.

And while her Shady Well victory was no surprise, as evidenced by her 3-5 price, the manner in which Wannatalkaboutme prevailed was eye-opening.

"The way she ran before, she'd never been headed," said Gonzalez, who had experienced severe doubts as he watched Wannatalkaboutme drop off the pace in the early stages of the Shady Well.

"I didn't know about the mud, either. I didn't know about her eating all that dirt."

Gonzalez credits the cool hand of jockey David Clark with turning potential defeat into victory.

"Clarkie said she hated that track," said Gonzalez of the sealed surface. The track was rated good for the Shady Well after being muddy for the first seven races on the card. "He decided he was just going to let her be. He didn't panic and start pushing and rushing her. He kind of got her around that turn, and all of a sudden she latched onto the bridle and was a different horse."

Wannatalkaboutme was in high gear when they straightened away for the stretch run and swept by front-running Queen's College for a 3 1/4-length victory.

"She just keeps amazing me, more and more, all the time," said Gonzalez.

"She's got heart, and you know she's got class. Those two things made her overcome disliking the racetrack."

The next logical target for Wannatalkaboutme is the $125,000 Nandi, a six-furlong Ontario Sire Stakes here Aug. 6, in which she would be an even heavier favorite.

"If she's okay, we're going to run her there," said Gonzalez. "If we do, we're certainly going to give her a break after that.

"But, she takes her races well. She's a tough thing."

Wholelottabourbon, Canada's champion 2-year-old male last year, has not seen action since finishing second in the Grade 2 Marine over 1 1/16 miles here May 21.

Gonzalez had given Wholelottabourbon some time off and hoped to have him back for Wednesday's Deputy Minister, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, but the gelding came up with a leg infection that put an end to that plan.

"It was never a major thing," said Gonzalez. "We had that one race, the Deputy Minister, for him to run in, and when we realized he wasn't going to make that there was no schedule.

"When a little bit goes wrong with a horse like that, we just give him all the time he needs."

Wholelottabourbon, Kentucky-bred in addition to being Ontario-sired, is on the farm of veterinarian Lea Guitard, where he is in light training. "We hope to get him back to the track in about a month and get serious again," said Gonzalez. "There's no target date on where we're going to run or when we're going to run.

Welcome Again a Breeders' prospect

Welcome Again, an impressive maiden winner here Sunday, is a serious prospect for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds here Aug. 7.

Owned by Frank Stronach, Welcome Again ran well on the turf in Southern California before being shipped here this spring to assistant trainer Brian Lynch, who runs the show for trainer Bobby Frankel at Woodbine.

"Originally, we thought he would be a Queen's Plate horse," said Lynch. "But we had to address a few little issues, and timing-wise it didn't work out."

Team Stronach also considered running Welcome Again in the Prince of Wales, the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown, at Fort Erie last Sunday but opted for a 1 1/2-mile maiden turf race here Sunday.

While rain caused the race to be moved to the main track, Welcome Again didn't seem to mind, as he romped to a 9 1/2-length victory under Todd Kabel.

"I would have preferred to get him on the grass, but I really wasn't afraid when the race came off, because he'd been training so well on the main track," said Lynch.

"And, he came out of the race beautifully."

Lynch also said that I'm the Tiger, a stakes-winning sprinter owned by Stronach, will be leaving Woodbine and joining Frankel's string at Saratoga.

I'm the Tiger, a 5-year-old gelding, was a very game runner-up making his first start of the season in a strong allowance sprint here last Wednesday evening.

"There's really not much for him here," said Lynch.

Two trainers fined, suspended

Trainers Norm DeSouza and Kathy Patton both will be serving 15-day suspensions, July 20 through Aug. 3, and have been fined $1,000 for medication violations.

West End Lady, winner of the sixth race here June 9 for DeSouza, tested positive for trichlormethiazide, sold under the brand name Naquasone, while Boozin Blonde, winner of the second race here last Oct. 17 for Patton, tested positive for salicylic acid, similar to aspirin.

Both substances are Class 4 medications, used for therapeutic purposes, and the penalties are the most lenient allowed under the guidelines.

West End Lady and Boozin Blonde both were declared unplaced for all but parimutuel purposes and the purses are being redistributed.