Experience is the best teacher. Learn from your mistakes. The shortest path is best. Pay the man.
Jockey Patrick Husbands put all such advice together Tuesday afternoon as he piloted long shot Bold Mist to a hedge-hugging, corner-cutting victory in the $37,100 Victorian Queen Stakes at the Fort Erie Race Track.
Husbands, a Woodbine regular who frequently wins in infrequent visits to Fort Erie (last year he won eight of 14 starts here; he is 4 for 10 in 1998), has had a good season aboard speedy steeds in sprint races over the Fort's inside turf course.
On July 28, he aimed Plein D'esprit to a track-record (57 1/5 seconds) at 5 furlongs. But on August 11, he and Plein D'espirit got beat at the same distance when they fanned wide on the turn and lost a lot of ground.
It was an experience Husbands did not forget Tuesday, when he cut the corner with Bold Mist to become the fourth and final leader in the 5-furlong dash on the grass for 2-year-old Ontario-sired fillies.
"I learned then that the top of the lane is a very tight corner. I went wide on the corner and that cost me. I learned from that," Husbands said.
This time the tight corner cost the others.
After Morning Star (Richard Dos Ramos up), Lively Believer (Robert Landry) and Krysams (Helen Vanek) all took a turn in front, the leaders fanned wide on the bend while Husbands, who had skimmed the hedge since leaving from the No. 2 post, slipped through on the inside, popped to the front and drew off to a 2 1/4 -length victory. Even-money favorite Bold Love, closed to be second under Neil Poznansky. Bold Mist paid $24.30 in winning her first race in the second start of her life. She had run fourth in a race for maidens (non-winners) at Woodbine on July 26.
Trainer Wray Lawrence said he chose to send her to the Fort Erie stakes because he thought the field here would be softer than she would find in the maiden ranks at Woodbine.
"There was only one winner (Bold to Love) in this field and they had to be Ontario-sired," Lawrence said. "At Woodbine she'd have to run against horses from all over the United States."
Owner-breeder John Campitelli, who has a small farm in Brooklin, Ont., said he withdrew Bold Mist from a yearling auction last year after the bidding stopped at $25,000.
"I expected to get $60,000 or $70,000 for her," said Campitelli, whose only broodmare, Moon Mist, a daughter of 1984 Queen's Plate winner Key to the Moon, is now the dam to two stakes winners (the other is a 3-year-old colt named Barlee Mist.) And Bold Mist has already earned $23,778. Earlier on the card attended by 1,724, an 8-year-old gelding named One Way Fellow ($3.50) added to his rags-to-riches luster by winning the $10,000, 1 3/4 mile marathon that concluded the four-part Summer Turf Series. It is the second-longest race of the meet, exceeded only by the 2 1/1 6-mile "Tour de Fort" scheduled for closing day, Sept. 21.
Jockey Francine Villeneuve kept One Way Fellow far off the pace until the last half-mile before cutting him loose for his usual strong stretch run.
"You know he's going to give you his big run late," Villeneuve said. "I had a lot of confidence. . . . He just runs the last part when you ask him."
Trainer Wilf Jones -- who also earned a $600 bonus as the top trainer of the series -- said he paid $750 for One Way Fellow when he bought him three years ago in Pennsylvania. In the past two years, One Way Fellow has won almost $31,000. In eight starts on the Fort Erie turf, he has posted four wins and a third with a bankroll of $23,416. He won the Summer Turf final two years ago.