06/20/2011 1:32PM

Woodbine: Sand Cove a hard-working millionaire

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Michael Burns
Sand Cove, with Richard Dos Ramor riding, wins the Steady Growth.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sand Cove’s victory here in last Sunday’s Steady Growth boosted his career earnings to $1,039,732.

But, if there is a way to make a million the hard way, Sand Cove’s workmanlike victory in the $125,000 Steady Growth continued a case in point, as the Ontario-sired 6-year-old horse was making his 34th career start and winning his ninth stakes race for trainer Roger Attfield and owner Ralph Johnson.

“What a tough little campaigner he is,” said Attfield, who had watched Sand Cove tote highweight of 126 pounds including regular rider Richard Dos Ramos and prevail by a neck over a game J J for Dave, who carried 117 pounds.

“It’s tough, to give that kind of weight away. I have a lot of admiration for this horse.”

Sand Cove, who was Canada’s champion older male of 2010 after winning four stakes and $392,983, was making just his second start of the season in the 1 1/16-mile Steady Growth after getting the kinks out in a sixth-place finish during the six-furlong New Providence four weeks earlier.

“I had to get that race into him, so that he could run in this one again,” said Attfield, who had sent out Sand Cove to win the restricted Steady Growth in his third start of 2010.

Sand Cove’s most lucrative win to date came here in last summer’s Grade 3 , $179,100 Seagram Cup, and Attfield will be aiming him for a another tilt at that 1 1/16-mile race here Aug 6.

Banner Bill rewards Biamonte

Trainer Ralph Biamonte, who sent out Citius to win the Bold Ruckus here June 11, was back in the stakes winner’s circle for the second straight Saturday after Banner Bill got the job done in the $156,000 Victoria.

Bred in Illinois by his owners Ron Magers and Bob Marcocchio, Banner Bill was recording his second win in as many starts in the five-furlong Victoria after scoring first crack out at 4 1/2 furlongs here May 15.

“I really thought five furlongs might be too short for him,” said Biamonte. “There was so much speed in Saturday’s race that I thought they might get away on him.”

Banner Bill did trail the field of seven through the first quarter but never lost touch with the leaders and launched a wide move around the turn that carried him to victory under jockey David Clark in the open stakes for 2-year-olds.

“This is a serious horse,” said Biamonte, who had to wait out a claim of foul before Banner Bill was declared the official winner.

Banner Bill now will be pointed for the $150,000 Colin, a six-furlong stakes here July 16.

“I think six furlongs is going to be great for him,” said Biamonte, who also sent out Jenna’s Wabbit to graduate over five furlongs here Sunday and now has fashioned a record of 7-5-1-1 from his 2-year-old starters at the meeting.

Biamonte will be looking to continue his roll with Rose and Shine on target for this Saturday’s $150,000 My Dear, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

Rose and Shine, owned by James Sabiston, debuted in a $40,000 maiden claiming race at 4 1/2 furlongs here May 27 and prevail by a nose over stablemate Quit Worrying, who came back to graduate in no-tag company.

“We were taking a shot, running them both for $40,000,” said Biamonte. “I was sweating, but they stayed in the barn.”

Rose and Shine breezed four furlongs in 48.40 seconds on the training track here Sunday under Omar Moreno, who has picked up the mount for the My Dear.

Milwaukee Appeal still in the hunt

Milwaukee Appeal, a recent addition to the Biamonte stable, breezed in company with Rose and Shine and was timed in 1:01.20 going five furlongs under jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva.

Owned by bred by Eugene George and trained by Scott Fairlie, Milwaukee Appeal was Canada’s champion 3-year-old filly in 2009 but is winless in 15 starts since capturing that year’s Woodbine Oaks.

Milwaukee Appeal, who banked more than $1.3 million under Fairlie’s tutelage, was turned out for a couple of weeks after running sixth in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron on May 28 and has been here with Biamonte for the past week.

“We’ll see how she comes out of the work,” said Biamonte, who is eyeing Saturday’s $100,000 Trillium on Milwaukee Appeal’s behalf.

The Trillium, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, is an overnight stakes and will require a field of at least five to be carded.

De Gannes has triple threat

Trainer Greg De Gannes plans to be represented in three stakes this weekend, with Curgone bound for Sunday’s Queen’s Plate, Runfor Ro for the My Dear, and Silverleo for Saturday’s Charlie Barley.

Last Saturday, De Gannes warmed up by sending out Jenny’s So Great to capture the $101,600 Zadracarta in the Charlie Barley after Safraction ended second in the Victoria.

Jenny’s So Great, a Florida-bred 4-year-old, was the first stakes winner of the meeting for both De Gannes and jockey Jesse Campbell, who moved his tack here this spring following the conclusion of the Fair Grounds meeting.

“Jesse gave her a great ride,” said DeGannes, who trains Jenny’s So Great for owners Bill and Vicki Poston.

“I thought she was brilliant. She accelerated when she needed to, and she ran fast.”

Jenny’s So Great’s victory in the Zadracarta, a seven-furlong turf stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares, yielded a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 87.

“As long as she gets the right ride, I think she can get anywhere from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth,” said DeGannes.

“In light of how she ran Saturday, I think we’d take a serious look at the Royal North.”

The Grade 3, $150,000 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares, will be run here Aug. 1.

Safraction cut up some

Safraction, seeking his second win in as many starts, had to settle for second money in the Victoria after being involved in the skirmishing around the turn that led to the inquiry.

“I think he ran a very creditable race,” said DeGannes, adding that Safraction had come out of the Victoria with a significant cut on his right front leg.

◗ Runforro, who earned her maiden victory via a disqualification in a 4 1/2-furlong race here May 28, breezed five furlongs in 59.40 seconds on the main track last Saturday.

“She breezed lights out,” said DeGannes.

◗ Silverleo breezed five furlongs in 1:02 under exercise rider Dolan Armstrong here Monday in preparation for the $100,000 Charlie Barley, an open overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf.