10/24/2011 2:00PM

Woodbine: DePaulo scores weekend stakes double with Pender Harbour, Kitty's Got Class

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Michael Burns
Kitty’s Got Class, with Emma-Jayne Wilson up, wins the Fanfreluche Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Mike DePaulo enjoyed a stakes double dip here last weekend, sending out Kitty’s Got Class to capture Sunday’s $150,000 Fanfreluche after Pender Harbour prevailed in Saturday’s $126,200 Bunty Lawless.

Both horses also have been strong advertisements for both the Ontario-sired program and the local yearling sales, where Kitty’s Got Class was purchased for $2,500 and Pender Harbour for $17,000.

Michael Colterjohn, who bred Kitty’s Got Class at his Gardiner Farm, consigned her to the sale and wound up being her owner in partnership with Denny Andrews.

“She had X-ray issues, and I couldn’t convince anybody that they wouldn’t be a problem,” Colterjohn said.

“I told Denny she was a nice filly, and that if he bought her I’d be a partner with him.”

Kitty’s Got Class has made an astronomical return on that investment, with her $90,000 share of the Fanfreluche bringing her bankroll to $198,540 from three wins in as many outings.

After opening with a maiden tally at five furlongs, Kitty’s Got Class recorded her second straight victory over Ontario-sired opposition in the six-furlong Victorian Queen and was defeating Ontario-foaled fillies at the same distance in the Fanfreluche.

“This was a little tougher,” DePaulo said. “But she’s been all class.”

Kitty’s Got Class also has proven to be adaptable with respect to her riding partner as she was ridden by Luis Contreras in her debut, had Eurico Rosa da Silva in the irons when Contreras had another commitment for the Victorian Queen, and had Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard Sunday after Da Silva suffered a season-ending injury a week earlier.

“Emma had never seen the horse before,” DePaulo said. “Luis breezed her for me last week as a favor.”

All remaining well, Kitty’s Got Class could be making her next appearance here in the $150,000 Glorious Song, an open seven-furlong race for fillies here Nov. 13.

Kitty’s Got Class also is nominated to the $125,000 South Ocean, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired fillies on Nov. 9.

“That doesn’t really give you the time to stretch her out,” DePaulo said. “At this point, I think we’re looking at the Glorious Song.”

Pender Harbour had been nominated to the Grade 1 Canadian International, the 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up that was run here Oct. 16.

But DePaulo opted for the path of less resistance and was rewarded when Pender Harbour recorded his third stakes victory of the season in the Bunty Lawless.

The Bunty Lawless, for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up, was run over a turf course rated soft following heavy recent rains.

“I thought it would come off,” said DePaulo, who trains Pender Harbour for the partnership of the aforementioned Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin.

“Then I was concerned when they had the rail in the four-path; I think that favors speed.”

As it transpired, Pender Harbour himself was the speed as he stalked the pace through the first quarter-mile before taking charge en route to a 4 1/4-length victory under Contreras.

“I didn’t think we’d be that close early,” DePaulo said. “I thought we’d be fourth or fifth. And when the turf’s that way, you don’t know how fast you’re going.”

Pender Harbour’s eagerness was aided by the reintroduction of blinkers, which the 3-year-old gelding had not worn since finishing up the track in his six-furlong seasonal bow.

“When I started to stretch him out, I worked on getting him to relax and settle,” DePaulo said. “It’s far easier to get them cranked up than it is to settle.”

Pender Harbour obviously learned his lessons well as he followed up a third-place finish in the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate on Woodbine’s Polytrack surface with victories in Fort Erie’s 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales on the dirt and the Breeders’ Stakes here over 1 1/2 miles of soft turf.

In his start prior to the Bunty Lawless, Pender Harbour had finished eighth after being fractious just prior to the start and breaking poorly in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing.

Now, after learning that his charge earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 94 for his Bunty Lawless victory, DePaulo must ponder the possibility that Pender Harbour could be at his best on the turf.

“It’s tough to say,” DePaulo said. “I’ve never had a chance to run him on firm turf. I guess we’re going to find out next year.”

In the meantime, Pender Harbour should make at least one more appearance at this meeting, with Grade 2, $150,000 Autumn, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up here Nov. 12, and the $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up here Nov. 30, being potential targets.

His bankroll for the season already stands at $804,400, and his career earnings stand at $917,020 based on a record of 5-0-1 from 10 starts.

Funeral services held for Chretien

A funeral service was held Monday morning for longtime racetracker Fern Chretien, who died in Mississauga’s Credit Valley Hospital last Friday at age 74 following a long battle with bone cancer.

Chretien began working at the racetrack at age 16 as a hotwalker and then an exercise rider.

Chretien and one of his brothers, the late Richard Chretien, got involved in racing as owners in 1980 and upset Fort Erie’s 1981 Prince of Wales Stakes with Cadet Corps, who had won his maiden at the $8,000 claiming level that spring.

Chretien was still here at the racetrack, helping out trainer Bev Buck, up until a couple of years ago and left the hospital for an afternoon this June to appear at the annual awards day of the Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club, a group for which he served as a director.

His other passion was boxing, and Chretien turned pro in Miami in 1958 while working for the late trainer Frank Merrill Jr. Fighting in the lightweight division, Chretien compiled a record of 26 wins, 5 losses, and 3 draws, and following his retirement, he remained involved with boxing as a referee.

In 2005, Chretien appeared in the film “Cinderella Man” as the referee in the climactic match between the titular character James Braddock, who was played by Russell Crowe, and Max Baer.

Chretien’s survivors include his wife, Loretta (Bunny); children Andrea, Paul, and Tom; six grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.