09/18/2006 11:00PM

Woodbine sends two to B.C. Derby


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine connections will have a strong rooting interest in Sunday's British Columbia Derby, a Grade 3, $300,000 race at Hastings in Vancouver, B.C.

Head Chopper, trained by Steve Owens, and Ok Nothanksforaskn, trained by Lorne Richards, are slated to be flown to Vancouver Thursday evening and should be well bet in the B.C. Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race open to all 3-year-olds.

Justin Stein, who dominated the jockey standings at Hastings last year before moving to Ontario, will be riding Head Chopper, and Emma-Jayne Wilson will be making her Vancouver debut aboard Ok Nothanksforaskn.

Head Chopper heads into the B.C. Derby off a solid second-place finish behind older millionaire Barbeau Ruckus in the 1 1/16-mile Elgin, a yearling sales stakes for colts and geldings at Woodbine Sept. 4.

"He wasn't kept eligible for the Queen's Plate and the other classic races," said Owens, who will be saddling his first entrant at Hastings.

"As a 2-year-old, he had really bad shins. The timing didn't work out for him."

Head Chopper tuned up for the B.C. Derby by working five furlongs in 1:01 on the main track Saturday with Stein in the irons.

Ok Nothanksforaskn dead-heated for the win with Royal Challenger in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Ontario Derby here Sept. 8. Ok Nothanksforaskn was making his first start since winning the Breeders' Stakes over 1 1/2 miles of turf.

Ok Nothanksforaskn, a Kentucky-bred, is owned by Vancouver-based K.K. Sangara and will be the first Hastings starter for Richards since he left there to relocate to Woodbine in 2001.

"I still don't think he's run his best race for me," said Richards, who sent out Ok Nothanksforaskn to finish second in both the 1 1/16-mile Marine and the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park at Woodbine this spring.

"Hopefully, he'll run it this weekend."

Barilko's connections call it a year

Barilko, the pro tem leader of the 2-year-old male division here with a record of 4 for 4 after his 2 3/4-length victory in last Saturday's $126,200 Swynford, has been put away for the season.

"He's been in training since last September in Ocala [Fla.], where we broke him after I bought him in Kentucky," said Dave Dwyer, owner and trainer of Barilko.

"Enough's enough. He's been fantastic to us, so we're going to be good to him."

A Kentucky-bred gelding who was purchased at Keeneland for $30,000, Barilko won for a $50,000 claiming price in his debut on the old dirt track here July 3.

Barilko went on to win the five-furlong Colin and the 7 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy, both over the temporary inner track.

The seven-furlong Swynford marked Barilko's first race on Polytrack for his regular rider Constant Montpellier, and the victory brought his bankroll to $231,180.

"I thought he did it easy," said Dwyer, of Barilko's Swynford victory. "He just keeps impressing me, every time he runs.

"He runs like a 3-year-old. Nothing bothers him; he does everything great."

Dwyer's plans for Barilko to spend the winter in Florida.

London Snow's next start undecided

London Snow, who recorded her second stakes win of the season in Saturday's $125,000 La Prevoyante for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, should make her next start here in October. Steven Bahen rode her in both stakes wins.

Trained by John Charalambous, London Snow is eligible for both the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies on Oct. 7, and the $125,000 Classy'n Smart, a 1 1/16 mile Polytrack race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares on Oct. 9.

"Hopefully, we're in good shape, and we'll aim for one of those races," said Charalambous, who trains London Snow for Kirk Bradden Stables Inc.

London Snow, who had won the seven-furlong Lady Angela for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies here May 27, came back two weeks later in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and finished a distant eighth.

"We gave her a layoff after the Oaks," said Charalambous. "Since she started back, she's been getting better and better."

London Snow returned on July 26 with a fourth-place finish in the Passing Mood over seven furlongs on good turf, then was runner-up in the 1 1/16-mile Eternal Search, the first stakes race here on Polytrack.

Charalambous had expressed some concern about London Snow's ability to handle the going in the La Prevoyante, a one-mile turf race contested over good going.

"I thought she'd prefer it firm," said Charalambous. "But, she handled it great. Steve rode a great race. It set up perfectly, right from the gate."

The La Prevoyante boosted London Snow's earnings this year to $220,580.

Summer Girlfriend goes to the farm

The news isn't good about Summer Girlfriend, another stakes-winning 3-year-old filly in the Charalambous barn, who finished last of five when competing under fourth-level allowance terms and facing older rivals here last Friday.

"She didn't come out of it perfect," said Charalambous. "She's on the farm. Hopefully, she'll be back later this year."

Summer Girlfriend, a Kentucky-bred owned by the Equilease Stable of Allen Abbott, won the six-furlong Star Shoot here in April.

HBPA names board

The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has announced its newly elected board of directors. They will assume their duties at the end of the annual general meeting on Sept. 28.

Owners elected to the 11-member board are Michael Barkowski, Conrad Cohen, William Diamant, Lynne Hindmarsh, Sam Lima, and Larry Regan.

Trainers elected are Scott Fairlie, Stanley Fishman, Nick Gonzalez, Sue Leslie, and Danny Vella.