07/11/2013 12:56PM

Woodbine notes: Skylander Girl to run on short rest in Shady Well Stakes

Michael Burns
Skylander Girl won the My Dear Stakes by three lengths last Saturday and will run back in Sunday's $150,000 Shady Well Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Owner-trainer Al Patykewich has been around the racetrack for 47 years and took out his trainer’s license in 1976. Last Saturday, the 64-year-old Patykewich enjoyed his first stakes win when Skylander Girl scored by a going-away three lengths in the My Dear, a five-furlong stakes race for 2-year-old fillies.

Skylander Girl, purchased for $3,500 at last year’s open local yearling sale, earned $108,000, including an $18,000 Ontario-foaled bonus, for winning the open My Dear. And on Sunday, Patykewich will try to do it again when he sends out Skylander Girl for the $150,000 Shady Well, a 5 1/2-furlong race that is restricted to Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

“It’s close, but she came out of her last race so good,” Patykewich said. “She was bucking and squealing. I think she’ll win the race, then I’ll give her a month off.”

Patykewich, born in Toronto, worked at Maple Leaf Gardens as a concessions runner starting at age 10 and was the manager of the department during the era when the late Harold Ballard owned the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I was there for 29 years,” Patykewich said. “I looked after the press room, too, but I just got tired of working 24 hours a day.”

Patykewich had started owning and training horses when employed by MLG.

“A friend of mine was the head of mutuels, and I’d worked in the mutuels and on the backstretch at Woodbine,” said Patykewich, who saddled his first winners in 1978 but was absent from the trainer lists from 1987 until 2000.

“I had my own courier company,” added Patykewich, who still owned horses here during that period, with Don Pieterski as the trainer of record. “I did that for 18 years. Then I left, and I’ve trained my own horses ever since. I’ve only ever had one or two at a time.”

Skylander Girl is Patykewich’s lone runner at the moment and actually made her first start with Mort Hardy named as the owner and trainer.

“I just hadn’t got my license yet,” Patykewich said.

When debuting here June 8, Skylander Girl was off a step slowly and made a good move to take the lead but ended up second, beaten three-quarters of a length.

“She was short; she’d only had four works,” Patykewich said. “I still thought she could win it, but she just got nailed on the wire. I said to everybody right from Day 1 that I was going to win a stakes with her.”

Skylander Girl lived up to Patykewich’s prediction in the My Dear, where she again stalked the pace before launching a winning move under rider Jim McAleney.

“She’s a real nice filly,” Patykewich said. “She does everything you ask her to do. She’s very professional.”

Trainer Jordan loses appeal

Trainer Terry Jordan has been suspended for six months and fined $5,000 after his appeal of a positive test for the Class 3 drug acepromazine was denied by the Ontario Racing Commission.

Jordan served the first 12 days of the suspension at the conclusion of the 2012 Woodbine meeting, and his suspension resumed with the opening of the current meeting April 20. His suspension will run through Oct. 4.

Jordan was the trainer of record when Hollywood Hit tested positive for the medication, a commonly used tranquilizer with no performance-enhancing properties, after winning the eighth race here Sept. 7. The trainer had requested a split sample, which confirmed the presence of the medication but at a concentration that should not have produced a positive test. The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency does not provide the threshold level for calling a positive for acepromazine.

Jordan’s lawyer, David Milburn, had argued that new and more sensitive testing procedures were responsible and that Hollywood Hit had been administered the medication well outside the recommended deadlines. It was the second time Hollywood Hit had tested positive for acepromazine, the first having come following his victory for Jordan in the 2009 King Corrie Stakes.

Jordan, who is from Vancouver, British Columbia, had moved his stable to Woodbine in 2007 but did not return this season.

Hollywood Hit, a 7-year-old gelding, has been retired and is living on the Princeton, British Columbia, Wild Rose Farm owned by veterinarian and breeder Bryan Anderson and his wife, Carol.

Racing for owner Peter Redekop, Hollywood Hit was Canada’s champion sprinter in 2010 after winning Woodbine’s Jacques Cartier, Grade 3 Vigil, and King Corrie and finishing second in the Grade 2 Phoenix at Keeneland.

Purchased privately after an impressive first-level allowance win at Lone Star in his sixth career start, Hollywood Hit fashioned a record of 9-4-1 for earnings of $633,914 from 24 outings.

Court of the Realm nears return

Court of the Realm breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 on the main track here Thursday and is slated to make his 2013 debut in the Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Venture on Wednesday.

The Bold Venture, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up, will be the first start for Court of the Realm since he finished a troubled fourth in the Grade 3, six-furlong Kennedy Road here Nov. 25.

“Everything’s good,” said Peter Berringer, who trains Court of the Realm for the Aurora Meadows farm of his mother, Joan. “I would have liked to have had a race into him, but it didn’t work out that way.”

Others eyeing the Bold Venture, the first Wednesday night stakes of the meeting, include Essence Hit Man, Paso Doble, Bear Tough Tiger, and Consolidator Joe.

Valentino Beauty to go in Nijinsky

Valentino Beauty, trained by Barbara Minshall, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 under exercise rider and jockey Howard Newell in preparation for the July 21 Nijinsky Stakes.

“Excellent – he went very, very well,” said Minshall, who trains the 4-year-old Valentino Beauty for Bruce Lunsford. “He’s good to go.”

Valentino Beauty was making just his fifth start when beaten a head as the runner-up to Riding the River in the Grade 2 King Edward over a mile on turf here June 23.

The Grade 2, $200,000 Nijinsky goes at 1 1/8 miles on grass.

Road trip for Tanzspiel

Tanzspiel, trained here by Roger Attfield, has been entered in Saturday’s Virginia Oaks and was scheduled to ship out to Colonial Downs on Thursday night. The Virginia Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.

Tanzspiel won for the first time when making her fifth career start and her local debut over 1 1/16 miles on turf June 8. John Velazquez has the call on the Irish-bred, who races for Dick Bonnycastle’s Harlequin Ranches.

◗ Days Ride, trained by Katerina Vassilieva, is ineligible to race for 90 days through Oct. 2 after testing positive for acepromazine following the first race June 22, in which he was beaten a nose as the 7-5 favorite. Vassilieva has the right to request a split sample and a hearing would then be held at a later date.