10/11/2006 11:00PM

Wilson, 86, scores first hat trick


Trainer Jack Wilson won three races at Fort Erie last Saturday.

Wilson, 86, saddled Draven's Cross ($11.10) to win the first race and Two Face Flyer ($36.20) to win the second, and the two made up the $90.10 daily double. In the fifth, Elegant River ($6.40) won her maiden.

"It was the first time I ran three horses and won with them all," said Wilson. "I've won lots of doubles but never three."

The three scores raised Wilson's win total at the meeting to eight. That's half the total he had here last year.

"It hasn't been a good year," he said. "We had a virus. I never had it so bad. As a result, I've run just over 50 so far this year. Last year, with less horses, I ran over 90 times."

Wilson brought 17 horses from his Florida farm to Fort Erie this spring. Eight of them were 2-year-olds. Last year, his barn here consisted of 15 horses.

Wilson said expects to have two or three more wins before the meet ends here Oct. 31. He is bringing Draven's Cross back to race this Saturday, just seven days after his maiden score. It would be Wilson's 55th starter of the meet.

"He's meant to be a nice horse - big, but you have to watch him," said Wilson. "He's an ugly one in the barn."

There's no retirement in sight for Wilson, a Toronto native who bought a 60-acre farm near Ocala, Fla., over two years ago, after he sold his training center in Fort Erie.

Wilson has a couple of other highlights this season. His Cielavia won the Aug. 5 Fort Erie Slots Cup, the first of the 20 Cup races on the track's calendar. He also won three races with Karamanduka, who was bought for $500 because of a leg problem.

Short field spoils Win 4, pick 3

Last Saturday's Lucky Fan Cup was run as a non-wagering event, because it had just four runners, including a two-horse entry from trainer Don MacRae.

Although win wagering could have been exercised, management, fearing a minus pool, decided to take the race off the board.

There were consequences. The Win 4 and two pick threes that involved the Lucky Fan Cup (race 6) had to be dropped.

Said mutuel manager Chad Gates: "In order to have a pick three or a Win 4, you have to have win odds. It's because of the scratch rule where you get the post-time favorite [if your runner is scratched]. With no win odds, there is no post-time favorite."