12/10/2012 5:16PM

Woodbine: Gonzalez barn in good hands


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Nick Gonzalez may be enjoying the warmer weather as he moved down to Florida recently to run a division at Gulfstream Park.

But Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant to the trainer, has been enjoying the hot hand here at Woodbine as the barn has scored with 6 of the last 13 runners it sent to the post.

Evil Kitten was the most recent winner as she captured an optional $62,500/second-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies here Sunday.

Owned by the Tucci Stable of Carlo and Lou Tucci, Evil Kitten was winning for the second time this season and was never worse than fourth while competing in stakes events in five of her previous six starts.

Safety Zone won for a $37,500 claiming price last Friday, one day after Logan’s Peak captured a $40,000 claiming race for nonwinners of three.

Claimed for $32,000 here Oct. 19, the 8-year-old Safety Zone was making his first start for owner/trainer Martha Gonzalez.

“We thought we were never going to get a race to go for him,” Gonzalez said.

Logan’s Peak, a 3-year-old filly, was breaking through for her first win of the season after running second or third seven times in her first 11 starts.

Artie Hot had won for $6,000 last Wednesday after scoring for $7,500 on Nov. 23.

Now 8 years old, Artie Hot had won the Ontario Derby for Team Gonzalez in his heyday and surpassed the $500,000 mark in career earnings while recording his 14th win in 74 career races.

Matching Skies, a 3-year-old filly, had launched the current Gonzalez streak with a win for $9,500 on Nov. 21.

Purchased privately from Mark Casse late this summer, Matching Skies is 2 for 3 for her new barn and stands a good chance to add to that total when she starts for $9,500 in the seventh race here Wednesday.

Heading into the final five days, the Gonzalez stable has recorded 40 wins here, good for sixth place in the standings, and also visited the winner’s circle 19 times at Fort Erie to finish in a tie for fourth place there.