07/27/2011 1:45PM

Woodbine: Da Silva splits with agent


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Eurico Rosa da Silva, who topped the Woodbine standings for the first time and won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion jockey of 2010, has ended his working relationship with agent Don Parente and is now represented by Tom Patton.

“It’s nothing personal; it was just a business decision,” said the 36-year-old Da Silva, who began riding here in 2004 and has been allied with Parente for the past six seasons.

“Things just weren’t working out that well. I appreciate everything Don did for me, but it was time for a change.”

Parente began the spring booking mounts for both Da Silva and apprentice Cassandra Garcea, who put her career on hold due to weight problems.

“He was definitely good for me; we had a good run,” Parente said of his association with Da Silva. “I’d like to thank all the trainers, too, for their support. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.”

Da Silva rode 190 winners last season and was sitting third in the standings with 76 wins heading into Wednesday’s card.

“I called Tom last Sunday night and asked him if he wanted to be part of my team,” Da Silva said.

“He’s a great guy,” Patton said. “I’m happy to be working with him,”

Patton also represents Quincy Welch and until very recently had Jono Jones as his second journeyman.

Jones, however, has elected to take a break from the saddle, and he and his family soon will be heading home to the Barbados for an indeterminate period.

Struggles with weight prompted Jones to put his career on the back burner for at least the time being.

“Two weeks ago, the last day I came in to ride, I just couldn’t do it,” said the 35-year-old Jones, who has been competing here since 2001.

Jones has ridden 658 winners in North America, including 75 stakes, topped by the 2008 Queen’s Plate with Not Bourbon, the 2004 Prince of Wales with A Bit O’Gold, and back-to-back runnings of the Breeders’ with A Bit O’Gold in 2004 and Jambalaya in 2005.

This year, Jones had recorded nine wins from 125 mounts, his last victory coming aboard Mendocino Beano here July 1.

“I want to thank everybody who ever helped me out,” Jones said.

Moonshine Mullin at Spa for stakes

Moonshine Mullin, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park in his last start here June 12, checked into Saratoga on Monday night to prepare for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes.

Emma-Jayne Wilson, Moonshine Mullin’s regular rider, will be traveling down for the mount and making her Saratoga debut.

Trainer Reade Baker, who arrived there Tuesday evening, sent out Moonshine Mullin to jog twice around the track Wednesday morning.

“He’s doing good,” Baker said. “It was beautiful down here, nice and cool, this morning.”

Moonshine Mullin, a Kentucky-bred who races for Dick Johnson’s Viking Farms, will be trying dirt for the first time in the Jim Dandy but has worked well over the dirt on the training track here, including a five-furlong breeze in 59.80 seconds last Saturday.

Attfield ships out for turf stakes

Trainer Roger Attfield plans to be represented in two out-of-town stakes this weekend, with Mekong Melody set for Saturday’s Diana at Saratoga and both No Explaining and Perfect Shirl slated for Sunday’s Matchmaker at Monmouth Park.

Both filly and mare stakes are scheduled for 1 1/8 miles of turf, with the Diana a Grade 1 worth $500,000 and the Matchmaker a Grade 3 with a $200,000 purse.

Mekong Melody, an Irish-bred 6-year-old, has raced twice this year and most recently was a solid third here in the Grade 1 Dance Smartly over 1 1/18 miles of turf.

Alex Solis, whose only previous partnership with Mekong Melody resulted n a victory in Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Long Island last November, will be back in the saddle for the Diana.

No Explaining, an Irish-bred 4-year-old who was a disappointing eighth in the Dance Smartly, will be looking to rebound with Julien Leparoux in the irons for the first time.

Perfect Shirl, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who was up the track in Delaware’s R.G. Dick Memorial over 1 3/8 miles of turf last time out, also will have a new rider in Cornelio Velasquez.

“There was a three-other-than for her here, but it didn’t go,” Attfield said. “I entered four horses for Friday, and none of the races went.”

Pierce eyes pair of weekend stakes

The Malcolm Pierce stable will be seeing stakes action both on the road and at home this Saturday with Divine Music entered in Penn National’s $100,000 East Hanover and Miss Inclined in the $150,000 Duchess here.

Divine Music, a Kentucky homebred who races for Pin Oak Stable, will be traveling six furlongs in the East Hanover, which is restricted to 3-year-olds.

“I’ve just been looking for a spot to run him,” said Pierce, noting that Divine Music prefers dirt but has not seen action since a track-record performance in a 6 1/2-furlong, second-level allowance at Fort Erie on May 31.

Miss Inclined, a Kentucky homebred who races for Mueller Thoroughbred Stable, will be returning to Polytrack in the Duchess after finishing seventh in the Alywow over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf here June 5.

“She’s doing good,” Pierce said. “She had a race at Fair Grounds and then three races here early in the meet.

“We’ve been waiting for this spot. Seven furlongs should be just right for her.”

Miss Inclined finished third in each of her first two starts over the local main track, which came in the six-furlong Star Shoot and in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette.

Da Silva retains the mount on Miss Inclined for the $150,000 Duchess, which attracted a field of 11 including the shippers Elusive Pearl, Honey Chile, and Our Lady in Red.

Heading the local contingent will be Delightful Mary, Canada’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2010 who will be making her first start at the meeting for trainer Mark Casse.

◗ Woodbine’s Saturday card again will begin at 1:05 p.m. in order to avoid a direct conflict with Saratoga’s first race.