08/17/2011 11:55AM

Woodbine: Sinister Quill stretches for Eternal Search Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sinister Quill has been knocking on the door in stakes company here this spring.

On Saturday, Sinister Quill will be looking to break through as she stretches out to 1 1/16 miles and returns to the main track for the Eternal Search Stakes.

The Eternal Search, for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, attracted a field of seven headed by Bear It’s Time, who won the $250,000 Bison City at the same distance.

“It’s going to be very tough,” said Danny Vella, who is the trainer and a part-owner of Sinister Quill.

“I’m not sure I’m as good a two-turn horse as I am a one-turn horse.”

Perfect in two starts last year, Sinister Quilll extended her streak to three when winning out her restricted allowance conditions in her sophomore bow.

Sinister Quill has raced in three restricted stakes since then, finishing second to Bear It’s Time in the seven-furlong Lady Angela and then ending a close third when facing males in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus and a closer second in the seven-furlong Passing Mood, with both of those races coming on the grass.

The $125,000 La Prevoyante, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, will be run here Sept. 20, and that fact gives Vella pause.

“I’m a little worried about running her Saturday, with only three weeks to the La Prevoyante,” Vella said.

“But I’m entering her, and then we’ll make a decision.”

Vella also reports that his stakes-placed Alpha Bettor, who finished last of nine when competing under second-level allowance terms at 1 1/16 miles here last Sunday, came out of the race with a pus pocket caused by a foot bruise.

“It didn’t really show up, even the next day,” Vella said. “But he’s all right. He’s a nice, sound horse, and he’ll be around for a long time.

“I’d love to make the Ontario Derby with him.”

The $150,000 Ontario Derby, an open 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will be run here Sept. 24.

Alpha Bettor was beaten a nose here at that distance in the Victoria Park . The winner, Moonshine Mullin, went on to finish second in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy and is a candidate for next Saturday’s Travers.

Medabuck set for Eternal Search

Trainer Terry Jordan flew out from Toronto on Wednesday morning to join Line Change, who had headed for Edmonton the previous evening for his engagement in Saturday’s $300,000 Canadian Derby,

But Jordan also will have a stakes starter on the local front as Medabuck will be saddled by his assistant, trainer Anita Bolton, for the Eternal Search. Medabuck, coming off a closing third-place finish in the Passing Mood, also will be trying two turns for the first time under her regular rider, Patrick Husbands.

“I expect her to be a player,” said Jordan, who trains Medabuck, who is a daughter of Philanthropist, for James Redekop. “I think my horse will carry the distance. All the other Philanthropists seem to.”

Medabuck won her first two starts last year in front-running fashion, including the Victorian Queen for Ontario-sired fillies at six furlongs, but then faltered to finish fifth at the same distance in the Fanfreluche for Canadian-breds.

After watching Medabuck weaken again in her seasonal bow, Jordan removed the blinkers and has watched her respond by displaying a stalking style in three subsequent starts that included a restricted second-level allowance win at six furlongs.

“We’ll be trying some new equipment on her Saturday,” Jordan said. “She’s a little spooky; she’s a little afraid of everything.

“I borrowed a set of screens from Danny Vella, which you put over the whole eye. It kind of mellows them out. They’re kind of like a real dark pair of sunglasses. Patrick breezed her in them the other day and said she went very nicely.”

Olguin, Contreras going out of town

Woodbine-based riders Gerry Olguin and Luis Contreras both will be out of town Saturday, with Olguin riding Emerald Downs invader Northern Indy for trainer Vann Belvoir in the Canadian Derby and Contreras getting his usual call aboard the Josie Carroll-conditioned Inglorious in the Alabama.

Contreras made a preliminary excursion across the border Tuesday evening as he rode three horses at Presque Isle Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.

The trip yielded one win for Contreras as Cold Hearted Babe, who had been racing here at Woodbine, captured a $7,500 maiden race.

Mimi’s Missy, who also has been based at Woodbine, finished fifth in a first-level allowance, and Pickapocket, in from Kentucky, ran third in a $16,000 claiming race.

Contreras Day set for Sunday

Sunday will be Luis Contreras Day here at Woodbine, with a special autograph session and cake-cutting taking place on the second floor of the grandstand.

The Woodbine Entertainment Group is honoring Contreras for his recent feat of becoming the first jockey to capture all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown in a season when no individual horse completed the sweep.

Inglorious won the Queen’s Plate, and Pender Harbour, trained by Mike DePaulo, was best in the Prince of Wales and the Breeders’.

Jose Contreras joins his brother

As if one Contreras wasn’t enough for the other jockeys in the Woodbine colony, Jose Contreras rode his first race here last Sunday and finished second aboard Angels’ Share for Asmussen.

Jose Contreras, 22, is a brother of the 26-year-old Luis’s and followed his example by winning out his apprenticeship in Mexico before relocating to the United States in 2008. Jose Contreras won 36 races and recorded 163 in-the-money finisheds from 491 mounts in 2009 while competing at Golden Gate, Emerald Downs, Stockton, Pleasanton, and Zia Park.

But his totals shrunk to 5-4-5 from 41 starts last year in a campaign that ended in mid-August.

“He broke his collarbone,” said agent Tony Esposito, who represents both of the brothers. “He’s been galloping horses for Mark Casse and Josie Carroll, and working horses for them. He felt like he’s strong enough to start now.”

‘Fuhrever’ wins at Presque Isle

An interesting sidebar on Tuesday’s Presque Isle program was an appearance by Fuhrever Dancing, a 9-year-old who was based here at Woodbine before being claimed for $32,000 by Asmussen in his last start of 2008.

Fuhrever Dancing was trained here by Ron Burke, Bobby Lane, DePaulo, and lastly by Jordan, for whom he won the $50,000 Westerner Handicap at Northlands in 2008.

Asmussen lost Fuhrever Dancing for $20,000 in spring 2009, and Fuhrever Dancing has since changed hands three more times via the claim box.

On Tuesday, Fuhrever Dancing won for $7,500 and boosted his career earnings to $684,442 on a record of 15-14-18 from 76 starts.