09/06/2011 12:50PM

Woodbine: Biamonte takes spoils in sales stakes for juveniles

Michael Burns
Menlo Castle wins Monday's Simcoe for 2-year-old colts and geldings at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Woodbine’s yearling sales stakes for 2-year-olds had their distances shortened from seven to 6 1/2 furlongs and their purses increased from $125,000 to $200,000 this year.

All of which was just fine with trainer Ralph Biamonte as he sent out Menlo Castle and Where’s Johnson to finish one-two in Monday’s Simcoe for colts and geldings and Rose and Shine to win the Muskoka for fillies.

Menlo Castle, a $17,000 yearling who was the first stakes winner for owner Conor Healy, had been placed first via a disqualification in his most recent start at five furlongs here Aug. 14.

Where’s Johnson, an $8,000 yearling who races for the C.E.C. Farm of Eugene George, had been off since July 24 when he defeated Menlo Castle by a neck in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race.

“I thought basically that was what was going to happen,” Biamonte said after watching Menlo Castle defeat Where’s Johnson by 7 3/4 lengths.

“Menlo probably had that fitness level over him; he had that race three weeks ago. Where’s Johnson got sick a couple of weeks ago and missed some time.

“I don’t think Menlo is necessarily a better horse, but he was today.”

Menlo Castle was ridden by Patrick Husbands, who was recording his 17th stakes winner of the meeting to take the lead in that category.

“I’d love to try him on the grass,” Biamonte said.

Just a little more than an hour later, Biamonte was back in the stakes winner’s circle with Rose and Shine.

Owned by Jim Sabiston, Roses and Shine was a $19,000 yearling who had won her debut for a $40,000 claiming price and gone on to finish fourth in the five-furlong My Dear and third in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well.

“She’d run against some good fillies,” Biamonte said after Rose and Shine rallied for a three-quarter-length victory under jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva.

“She’s another one who got a little sick, and I was worried about it, but it worked out good. I think she’ll go longer.”

That opportunity could come for Rose and Shine in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred fillies here Oct. 29.

“She’ll need a little time off now, from this,” Biamonte said.

Bug’s Boy upsets Halton at 74-1

While the victories by Menlo Castle ($10.10) and Rose and Shine ($8.60) represented only minor upsets, the four yearling sales stakes for older runners produced results ranging from the surprising to the outright shocking.

Bug’s Boy provided the largest dose of Labor Day fireworks with his 74-1 tally in the Halton over one mile of turf.

Trained by John LeBlanc, Bug’s Boy had won 3 of 41 previous starts and at age 8 shared elder statesmen status with Society’s Chairman in the yearling sales events.

And Bug’s Boy’s three-quarter-length score in the Halton came at the direct expense of Society’s Chairman, a multiple stakes winner and Grade 1 stakes-placed horse who finished second at 3-5.

Bug’s Boy, a $3,500 yearling, was 4 years old when he debuted in August 2007.

“His first race was on turf, and he ended up bowing in it,” said LeBlanc, who trains Bug’s Boy for his wife, Maggie, and son, Douglas, who is only three years older than the horse. “That’s why we put him away for a year.

“He broke his maiden as a 6-year-old.”

Bug’s Boy’s first win came for an $11,500 claiming price, but he has been entered for a tag just once in the interim, when he finished third for $30,000 here July 3.

In his most recent outing, on Aug. 1, Bug’s Boy was beaten 4 3/4 lengths as the eighth-place finisher in a first-level allowance at six furlongs.

“The horse had been training great, after I gave him a little time off,” LeBlanc said. “He’s been running well all year – he’s just been looking for the right trip.”

Bug’s Boy’s five-furlong breeze in 59.40 seconds on the turf training track here Aug. 28 provided the impetus for the LeBlancs to try the Halton.

“It had always been in the back of our mind, and after his last work, we decided to do it,” LeBlanc said.

While Bug’s Boy still has his second allowance condition, the $125,000 Bunty Lawless, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up here Oct. 22, now could be enticing.

Euro Platinum shocks Cappuccitti

Euro Platinum became a stakes winner in last year’s seven-furlong Jammed Lovely at 40-1, but hadn’t finished better than fifth in six subsequent appearances.

But the magic returned for Monday’s Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, as Euro Platinum prevailed by a head under Corey Fraser at 23-1.

“I was totally in shock,” said owner/trainer Audre Cappuccitti, who purchased the 4-year-old Euro Platinum for $22,000.

“She’s been running so badly. I really should have sent her home in the summer – it was exceptionally hot. She’s just a fall horse; that’s all there is to it.”

Euro Platinum could make her next start here Oct. 1 in the $100,000 Avowal, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares over seven furlongs of turf.

“She likes the turf,” Cappuccitti said.

Medidocihospisurg captures Elgin

Trainer Steven Chircop recorded his first career stakes win here with Kara’s Orientation, a horse he claimed in May 2010 for $20,000, in the $250,000 Sky Classic here Aug. 21.

On Monday, Chircop was back in the stakes winner’s circle after Medidocihospisurg, a 6-year-old gelding whom he claimed this June for $16,000, captured the 1 1/16-mile Elgin for colts and geldings under rider Jesse Campbell.

Medidocihospisurg, who had been a $125,000 yearling, was making his 30th career start and coming off a win for $20,000 at the Elgin distance Aug. 26.

“The horse is in really good order and with the weather getting cooler, it’s easier to come back in 10 days,” Chircop said.

Chircop did not nominate Medidocihospisurg to the Elgin and supplemented him to the race at a cost of $2,500.

“I wanted to take a shot, when I dropped him in,” said Chircop, who also owns Medidocihospisurg in partnership with Joe Petrella. “I didn’t want him on the list, in case somebody grabbed him with this race coming up for him.

Chircop now will have plenty of options as Medidocihospisurg remains eligible for the second allowance condition and starter allowance events.

“He’s a very nice horse,” Chircop said. “He’s very versatile.”

Quick Code goes from claimer to stakes

Quick Code, who captured the six-furlong Kenora at 9-1, also was exiting a winning effort in an Aug. 26 claiming race. His score came over fellow 3-year-olds when was entered for the lower tag at the $47,500-$50,000 level.

“If the 50 didn’t go, we were going to go in here,” said Mike DePaulo, who trains Quick Code and owns the $20,000 yearling purchase in partnership with Bob Stevens and Rob Jackson.

“He ran, won, and we put him in here. It was sort of an afterthought.

“But I thought maybe he didn’t have to run as hard as he could have last time, because of the slow pace.”

Quick Code now is 4 for 7 and a stakes winner of four races, but still has his second allowance condition. Justin Stein has been in the irons for all of his appearances.