08/09/2013 12:30PM

Woodbine notes: Fehr appeals stewards' ruling in Seagram Cup


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Alec Fehr, the owner and trainer of Ultimate Destiny, has appealed the decision by the stewards to declare his gelding a non-starter in last Saturday’s Grade 3, $159,300 Seagram Cup.

The stewards ruled that Ulitmate Destiny’s starting stall opened a fraction of a second before the others, giving him an unfair advantage.

Ultimate Destiny, in fact, did not benefit from the situation, as he broke fifth in the field of eight and went on to finish a strong second under jockey Todd Kabel.

The stewards cited a rule that gives them final call over the validity of the start of a race, and steward Gunnar Lindberg said that whether an advantage was actually gained does factor into their decision in such circumstances.

All wagers were refunded, depriving Ultimate Destiny’s backers of some potentially juicy exotics payoffs, and Fehr was out $36,000 as a result of the decision.

Fehr met with the stewards Friday but had already lodged an appeal.

“They had the film of the race, the head-on and the pan view,” Fehr said. “We looked at it as closely as we could.”

Fehr came away believing he has a case and plans to engage counsel, with his appeal expected to be heard sometime next month.

In the meantime, Fehr is pointing Ultimate Destiny to the $125,000 Elgin, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for colts and geldings that will be one of the six yearling sales stakes run Aug. 28 at Woodbine.

“That’s the logical spot for him,” Fehr said.

Distance no worry for Iron Wolf

Pat Parente has been patient in his handling of Iron Wolf, who was an impressive winner of his lone start June 30.

On Sunday, Parente will be unleashing Iron Wolf for the $150,000 Vandal for Ontario-bred 2-year-olds, and he’s not particularly concerned about the stretch-out from five to six furlongs.

“The way he ran first time out, he was lengthening his stride late in the race,” Parente said. “I could have run him back in the Colin on July 20, but that was an open race.”

Parente also is a part-owner of Iron Wolf, along with Dean Ventresca and Joe Guerieri, and purchased the colt for $8,000 at the open session of the local yearling sale.

“I broke him myself at our training center, and he came in to the track on March 1,” Parente said. “It looked like he had a lot of talent, all the way. He does everything you want him to do, and he does it effortlessly.”

Iron Wolf was no secret in his opener as he stalked the pace briefly before taking charge for a 4 3/4-length win under Justin Stein as the odds-on choice.

With Stein going to third-place Colin finisher Maritime Pulpit for the Vandal, Iron Wolf will have a new rider in Tyler Pizarro.

“He worked real good last time with Tyler on him,” said Parente, who watched Iron Wolf breeze five furlongs in 59.20 seconds here Monday.

Iron Wolf is one of seven horses in the Vandal lineup – along with Enjoy the Movie, Figy’s Mobil Pride, Go Greeley, Grom, Heart to Heart, and Man o’ Bear – who went through the ring at one of the local Canadian Thoroughbred Society sales.

All are therefore eligible for the $200,000 Simcoe, the 6 1/2-furlong yearling stakes for colts and geldings Aug. 28. That represents a fairly quick turnaround for the 2-year-olds.

“It doesn’t give us a lot of time,” Parente said. “We’ll see what happens; the horse will tell us whether he can do it or not.”

Black Hornet targeting Kenora

Black Hornet, racing for Parente and his Winview partners, is pointing to the $125,000 Kenora, the six-furlong yearling sales stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

Purchased for $4,500 at the open yearling sale, Black Hornet is coming off back-to back wins in the seven-furlong Queenston on May 11 and the six-furlong Achievement on June 29, with both stakes restricted to Ontario-bred 3-year-olds.

Black Hornet had been a main-track-only entrant in last Friday’s six-furlong Nearctic prep, and although that race was taken off the turf, the gelding was a vet scratch.

“A couple of days after I entered him, he had a little snotty nose,” Parente said. “It was enough to make me not run him. He came back and worked really good; it looks like he’s back to himself.”

Black Hornet breezed five furlongs Monday in 59 seconds, the fastest of 27 workers at the distance.

Pair work toward Breeders’ Stakes

River Seven, coming off a second-place finish in Fort Erie’s 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales Stakes on July 30, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 on the dirt training track here Friday in preparation for next Sunday’s $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes.

Jesse Campbell was on River Seven for the first time and has the call for the Breeders’ Stakes.

“He did it easy,” said Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant to River Seven’s trainer, Nick Gonzalez, who caught River Seven galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 and pulling up through seven furlongs in 1:33. “We didn’t want him doing an awful lot because he’s coming right back.”

The Breeders’ Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, is the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, following the Queen’s Plate here on Polytrack and the Prince of Wales on dirt.

River Seven finished 10th in the Queen’s Plate, won by his stablemate Midnight Aria, with both horses racing for the Tucci Stables of Carlo and Lou Tucci.

Midnight Aria came out of the Queen’s Plate in need of a break and is getting some rest at nearby Goldmart Farm.

Bookies Nightmare, also pointing to the Breeders’ Stakes, breezed four furlongs in 51.20 on the turf training track here Friday. Exercise rider Jenna Bray was aboard for the drill, with trainer Carolyn Costigan keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

“Jenna was very happy with him,” said Costigan, who trains Bookies Nightmare for David Dobson’s Borders Racing Stable Ltd. “She said he moved very well and loved the turf. He’s fit and well. He’s ready.”

Bookies Nightmare, a maiden after five starts, was claimed for $32,000 from his first career start here last fall and later finished a closing fourth over 1 1/16 in his turf debut.

In his only appearance of 2013, Bookies Nightmare was sixth in a six-furlong maiden turf race.

Ardara to go in Flaming Page

Ardara, trained by Costigan for her father, Bob Costigan, breezed four furlongs in 48.60 with Bray in the irons here Friday.

An impressive maiden winner over 1 1/4 miles of good turf here June 23, Ardara then faltered in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes, which was run in a driving rainstorm over 1 1/2 miles of yielding going.

In her latest appearance, which came in a first-level allowance race that came off the turf and was run over 1 1/8 miles of Polytrack, Ardara stalked the pace and finished fourth in the field of eight.

“I’m convinced she wants firm ground,” said Costigan, who has entered Ardara in Wednesday’s Flaming Page.

The $100,000 Flaming Page, a 1 1/2-mile overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares, attracted a field of 10 headed by Irish Mission, Canada’s reigning female turf champion and an easy winner of the Flaming Page prep.

◗ The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will hold its monthly meeting here Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Champions area.