04/29/2011 12:38PM

Woodbine: Irishman Moran joins jockey colony

Michael Burns
Jockey David Moran celebrates his win aboard Roan Inish in the 2010 Woodbine Oaks.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The already deep Woodbine jockey colony has gained an interesting new member in David Moran, who arrived from Ireland on Wednesday evening.

Moran can hardly be called a stranger to Woodbine, however, as the 28-year-old Irishman has ridden here six times, all in stakes races, for trainer Carolyn Costigan.

And those overseas trips have yielded wins with Roan Inish in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth and $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, plus a third-place finish in the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

“Last year, after the Oaks and the Queen’s Plate, I started considering moving here,” said Moran, who is married with five children ranging in age from 7 months to 7 years.

“During the winter, I started working on getting a visa, and it came through two weeks ago.

“It’s a chance to ride some good winners and make a name for myself. I’ve got some good people behind me.”

Moran began his career in 1999 with trainer Frank Ennis but then changed stables and became an apprentice rider for Jim Bolger in 2001.

Moran continued in that role until spring 2009, when he won out his three-pound allowance and became a full-fledged jockey.

“I’ve had some nice winners,” Moran said. “I had some group winners and won some big handicaps.”

Meanwhile, his association with Bolger led to his acquaintance with Costigan, who had worked as an assistant trainer there before striking out on her own in Canada.

Moran, who can tack 113 pounds, has hooked up with veteran agent John Bell, who was left riderless when Chantal Sutherland elected to stay and race full-time in California this year.

“We’ve got a lot of feelers out, and we’re getting a lot of good vibes,” Bell said. “Once we get organized, and sorted out, things will pick up.”

Evanderfield takes shot in Wando

What’s in a name?

Sometimes, there’s more than meets the ear.

Consider the case of Evanderfield, a 3-year-old who will be making his local bow in Saturday’s $100,000 Wando Stakes.

Trainer Tino Attard, who claimed Evanderfield for $12,500 from his winning debut over one mile at Gulfstream on Jan. 14, has heard the stories.

“It’s Mike Tyson, right?,” Attard said.

The reference is to the 1997 heavyweight bout between Mike Tyson and Evander Hollyfield, in which Tyson bit off part of his opponent’s ear.

His original owners, somewhat fancifully, saw fit to name their yearling purchase Evanderfield due to the state of his left auricle.

In fact, the ear is intact and only slightly malformed at this point.

And Attard believes that Evanderfield has a fighting chance in the 1 1/16-mile Wando.

“I was going to take him first time out; I’d seen him train every day,” said Attard, who wintered at Gulfstream Park. “When they ran him back for $15,000, I claimed him.”

Evanderfield finished fourth that day, at one mile, and fourth again in his debut for Attard over one mile of turf.

“I took off the blinkers, and he relaxed,” Attard said. “He can run. I hope he can pick up a nice check.”

Call it coincidental, but Tyler Pizarro, who will ride Evanderfield for the first time, took boxing lessons over the winter.

Isabella Bay opts for allowance over Fury

Isabella Bay was nominated to Saturday’s Fury Stakes but has opted for a second-level allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs here Sunday.

Winner of the 1 1/16-mile South Ocean last year, Isabella Bay is being pointed to the seven-furlong Lady Angela on May 23. Both the South Ocean and Lady Angela are for Ontario-sired fillies.

“I took her down to Florida for the winter, and she’s doing well,” trainer Ian Howard said.

“At the moment, it looks like the Oaks group is going to be a tough bunch, and I don’t want to worry about going that route.”

Isabella Bay’s half-sister, Resentless, won last year’s Lady Angela but finished a faltering seventh in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and has yet to return to the races.

Resentless also wintered in the Ocala area and was scheduled to compete in the six-furlong Whimsical here April 23 but did not make that race.

“She got sick on me after shipping,” Howard said. “After she had pneumonia last year, we wanted to be very careful. It seems like she’s 100 percent now.”

Ramirez moves tack back to Fort Erie

Martin Ramirez, who moved his tack here from Fort Erie in 2005, will be riding full-time at Fort Erie for the meeting that begins Saturday.

“This is a tough place to break in,” the 47-year-old Ramirez said. “It’s very competitive.”

Ramirez had his best results here in 2007, with 16 winners. At Fort Erie, he was the leading rider in 1999 with 121 wins, in 2002 with 127, and in 2003 with 121.

“I’ll see if I can get back to the position I had before I left,” said Ramirez, who also finished second in wins at the 1998, 2000, and 2004 meetings and third in 1994 and 1996.

Ramirez will be represented by jockey agent Rocco LaTorre.

Oh Canada works toward Queenston

Oh Canada, winner of the six-furlong Woodstock here in his seasonal bow, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 here Friday in preparation for Saturday’s seven-furlong Queenston Stakes.

Jockey Luis Contreras was aboard for the drill, in which Oh Canada tracked a stablemate.

“He chased a horse a couple of lengths behind and finished a half-length ahead,” trainer Bob Tiller said.

“He did what we wanted him to do. We were pleased enough with it.”

Black N Beauty, runner-up to Oh Canada in the Woodstock, is slated to return from Kentucky, where he is based with trainer Dale Romans, for the $150,000 Queenston.

Sensational Slam, winner of two sprint stakes in his first two career appearances last year for trainer Todd Pletcher, also is expected after abandoning the Kentucky Derby trail following his last-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass Stakes.

Bear’s Chill, an impressive winner of a seven-furlong first-level allowance in his local seasonal bow, is scheduled to make his stakes debut for trainer Reade Baker.