07/16/2012 12:45PM

Woodbine: Biamonte gets some consolation


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Ralph Biamonte didn’t have much to cheer about at Fort Erie on Sunday, as he sent out Menlo’s Castle and Run in Aruba to finish seventh and eighth in the Prince of Wales Stakes.

But Biamonte was was glued to one of the television sets there earlier Sunday afternoon and had occasion to celebrate as he watched Cryptic Message, saddled by his assistant, Rocco de Luca, lead throughout Woodbine’s $150,800 Shady Well Stakes under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Cryptic Message, a daughter of Cryptograph who is owned by Eugene George, won her maiden over 4 1/2 furlongs in Ontario-sired company here June 16 and was doubling up when facing Ontario-breds in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well.

“I thought she’d be all right, but I’d didn’t think she’d sprint like she did,” said Biamonte. “She’s kind of different from other Cryptographs – they don’t show speed. I thought she’d be more of a fall horse. I still think she’ll be a little bit better when she gets to go longer.”

In the meantime, Biamonte has a logical spot for Cryptic Message in the $125,000 Nandi Stakes, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies here Aug. 5.

“I wanted to see how she ran this time before I nominated her to the Nandi,” said Biamonte.

Bit of a surprise ending

Last Saturday’s $150,900 Toronto Cup appeared to shape up as a two-horse race between Hammer’s Terror and Excaper. But at the conclusion of the 1 1/8 miles it was Patrioticandproud, rallying under Eurico Rosa da Silva, who prevailed by a length with Excaper second and Hammers Terror a faltering fourth.

Patrioticandproud, a Pennyslvania-bred, was recording his first stakes win and his first win on grass in the Toronto Cup, an open race for 3-year-olds.

“He’s been kind of a hard-luck horse,” said Mark Casse, who trains Patrioticandproud for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. “I think there were a few other races he could have won. His races at Gulfstream this winter were better than they looked. And his last race here, against Prospective, was a good race.”

Patrioticandproud had finished second to his stablemate Prospective in Victoria Park Stakes over 1 1/8 miles of Polytrack here June 10.

Prospective, a Kentucky-bred owned by John Oxley, came back to capture the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on July 7.

With the next open stakes for the 3-year-olds being the $150,000 Ontario Derby at 1 1/8 miles here Sept. 16, Casse may be looking afield for Patrioticandproud’s next race.

Maker strikes again

Kentucky-based trainer Mike Maker has won the last two runnings of the Ontario Derby, with Derby’s Kitten and Stately Victor.

Last Saturday, Maker recorded his third Woodbine stakes with Joha, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old who captured the $152,100 Colin, an open six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Justin Stein, Joha made his first two starts at 4 1/2 furlongs over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface and then won his maiden over six furlongs on turf at Belmont.

“My impression is that he’s going to be a turf horse,” said Maker, who watched the Colin from Saratoga. “I’ll probably bring him back there for the Summer Stakes.”

The Summer, a one-mile turf race that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $250,000, will be run here Sept. 15 and is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In race for the Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

In the meantime, Maker will be looking to continue his success here Wednesday evening when Lonesome Street goes in a talented field of five for the $150,000 Bold Venture.

“It looks like there’s lots of speed in there,” said Maker, who sent out Lonesome Street to win the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes over seven furlongs of Keeneland’s Polytrack surface on April 14. “I’m sure he’ll be laying last and coming with his run.”

Strait of Dover breezes on turf

Strait of Dover, impressive winner of the June 24 Queen’s Plate but who passed on the Prince of Wales to prepare for the Aug. 5 Breeders’ Stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 on the training track turf course here Sunday under exercise rider/jockey Schemlin Montoute.

The $500,000 Breeders’, the third leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be run over 1 1/2 miles of turf here.

“I just wanted to introduce him to the turf,” said trainer Danny Vella. “He looked excellent. I thought his stride was good. He galloped out strong. I didn’t want him to do any more.”

Vella’s stopwatch caught Strait of Dover galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.60 and pulling up through seven furlongs in 1:28.

Aldous Snow hits the track, too

Aldous Snow, another leading candidate for the Breeders,’ worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on the training turf course Sunday with his regular rider, Eurico Rosa da Silva, in the irons.

“I thought he worked very well,” said trainer Malcolm Pierce. “He worked behind another pair of my horses, spotted them a couple of lengths, and finished head and head with them.”

Aldous Snow skipped the Queen’s Plate but was a solid winner of a first-level allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf in the following race on June 24.

Options for Stars to Shine

Stars to Shine, winner of the 1 1/8 mile Trillium Stakes in her seasonal debut here June 24, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 on the main track here Sunday under her regular rider, Alex Solis, and is scheduled to run in either the Ontario Matron or Nijinsky Stakes here Saturday.

“We’re keeping our options open,” said Frostad.

The Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares, offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000, while the Nijinsky is a Grade 2, $300,000 race in which Stars to Shine would be facing males over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Pender Harbour, who will be looking for his third win in as many turf appearances in the Nijinsky, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 on the main track here Monday under his regular rider, Luis Contreras, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.

Other locally based candidates for a the Nijinsky include Hollinger, Hotep, Hothersal, Kara’s Orientation and Riding the River.

◗ Justin Stein has been fined $500 for “unsportsmanlike conduct,” the stewards said, after he was observed kicking his mount Ringsforthegirls in the belly area before the running of the sixth race on July 13.