04/27/2011 1:12PM

Woodbine: Pender Harbour's prospects for Queen's Plate in doubt

Email
Michael Burns
Pender Harbour, winner of last year’s Kingarvie Stakes, underwent surgery at the end of the 2010 season.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Pender Harbour finished his first campaign with an impressive win in the Kingarvie Stakes and looked to be a good long-term candidate for the Queen’s Plate.

But after undergoing surgery at the end of the season and wintering in Ontario, Pender Harbour’s prospects for making the June 26 Queen’s Plate are far from definite.

“We took a chip out of his knee,” said Mike DePaulo, who trains Pender Harbour for Denny Andrews and Bob Giffin.

“That’s put him a little behind the eight ball as far as the Plate is concerned. He’ll need a few more breezes before he’s ready to run.”

Pender Harbour breezed for the first time on April 8 and for the fourth time Monday, going four furlongs in 49 seconds under exercise rider Charlton Riley.

An Ontario-sired gelding, Pender Harbour also won a seven-furlong maiden race while making each of his three starts in restricted company last year.

Jojo’s Mojo impresses in nose loss

While Pender Harbour is on the bubble for the $1 million Queen’s Plate, DePaulo suddenly has a new candidate in Jojo’s Mojo, who finished a close second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race here last Saturday.

A Ghostzapper colt owned by Mike Samotowka, Jojo’s Mojo joined the DePaulo stable early this month after making his first four starts south of the border.

“Kenny McPeek sent him up to me,” said DePaulo, noting that he had met that trainer when stabled at Gulfstream several years ago. “I met the owner the day the horse ran.”

Jojo’s Mojo, with Justin Stein in the irons, had rallied strongly in that local debut to fall just a nose short of the odds-on Enduring Star.

“I think we would have had him, if the race was a mile and a sixteenth and two noses,” DePaulo said.

Jojo’s Mojo currently is not nominated for the Queen’s Plate but can be supplemented at a cost of $5,000 by May 1.

“A mile and a quarter is a long distance, but I think he’ll get that trip and I think he’s Poly horse,” DePaulo said. “We’re a little excited about him.”

Jojo’s Mojo’s only previous Polytrack outing was his debut at Keeneland, where he finished a closing third at seven furlongs.

Glory Game joins DePaulo barn

Glory Game, perfect in two starts here last year for trainer Nick Gonzalez, is a newcomer to DePaulo’s barn this season.

A New York-bred 3-year-old, Glory Game was purchased privately by Danny Dion for his Bear Stable after winning the Colin in his second start on July 17.

Glory Game’s immediate victim there was Madman Diaries, who went on to win Monmouth’s Grade 3 Sapling and a Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding male 2-year-old.

With an eye toward statebred opportunities, Dion sent Glory Game to Linda Rice at Saratoga.

“He got hurt and turned out in Kentucky,” DePaulo said.

“I got him in March, and he’s doing really well. I’m looking to find a spot for him.”

DePaulo also has high hopes for 3-year-olds Hawk Over Heath, Bubbles to the Top, and Mays Treasuretrove.

Hawk Over Heath, racing in the Overheath Stable colors, is 2 for 2 after winning a restricted first-level allowance at five furlongs here April 8. Hawk Over Heath will be looking to run his win streak to three in Saturday’s eighth race, a second-level restricted allowance at seven furlongs.

“We had trouble with his shins last year, but they’re good now,” said DePaulo, who had sent out Hawk Over Heath to win his debut at seven furlongs here on Oct. 8.

“He’s a pretty impressive horse. I’m hoping he can be an Ontario-sired stakes horse.”

Bubbles to the Top, also running in the name of the Overheath group, is winless in six starts but has finished no worse than fourth in four stakes appearances.

In her 2011 bow, Bubbles to the Top was beaten a half-length as the runner-up in a five-furlong allowance dash.

“I don’t think five furlongs is really her game,” DePaulo said. “We’ll be looking to break her maiden and then take a run at some Ontario-sired stakes."

Bubbles to the Top will be looking for that first win in Saturday’s 10th race, which is for Ontario-sired maiden fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Mays Treasure Trove, owned by Ben Hutzel, was unstarted last year but drilled five furlongs in 57.80 here Tuesday under Stein and should be debuting in the near future.

“I thought she was my best 2-year-old, but she hurt her knee and didn’t get to race,” DePaulo said. “It was pretty upsetting.”

Roxy Gap tops Fury Stakes

Saturday’s $150,000 Fury has attracted a field of six 3-year-old fillies headed by Roxy Gap, who was undefeated in three starts here last year and then finished third in the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream on Jan. 5.

The seven-furlong Fury, for Ontario foals, is a stepping-stone to the June 5 Woodbine Oaks, which is for Canadian-breds at 1 1/8 miles.

The Fury also has attracted two shippers in Marketing Mix, who is trained by Dale Romans, and Spooky Kitten, conditioned by Tom Proctor.

Mark Casse, who trains Roxy Gap, also has entered the maiden Bingo. Hoi Ann, from Julia Carey’s barn, and Dreamy Moonlite, trained by John Staples, complete the field.

Woodbine runners fill Elkhorn

Seven of the 11 horses in Friday’s closing-day Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland have Woodbine connections.

Heading the list is Rahy’s Attorney, trained by Ian Black and scheduled to be ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson in the 1 1/2-mile turf race that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $150,000.

Roger Attfield will send out Musketier and Simmard, while Mark Frostad has Giant’s Tomb and Windward Islands in the lineup.

Pool Play, conditioned by Casse, and Miami Deco, trained by Brian Lynch, complete the septet.

◗ Jim Mazur will be here Saturday for a Kentucky Derby seminar, beginning at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand.

Attendees will receive a free copy of Mazur’s “Kentucky Derby Preview Handicapper.”