05/17/2008 12:00AM

Alezzandro makes belated return in Vigil


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Kevin Attard had to revert to Plan B after Alezzandro got hurt prior to an April 19 engagement, and the reigning champion 3-year-old in Canada will instead make his season debut in Monday's Grade 3, $150,000 Vigil Stakes at Woodbine.

Alezzandro nearly stole the show in the 2007 Queen's Plate, in which he led until deep stretch before ending up second to Mike Fox. The Plate was just his third start and it came less than six weeks after he won his debut.

Alezzandro subsequently won the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. He failed to stay 1 1/2 miles on turf in the Breeders' Stakes, the final leg of the series.

Attard entered Alezzandro in an allowance-optional claimer April 19, but he had to scratch him from that seven-furlong sprint.

"He got kicked in the chest by another horse," Attard said. "He had some swelling and had a little bit of a hematoma. We had to give him a few days off. We couldn't run him that way."

Attard said Alezzandro has rebounded nicely from that injury, posting several impressive works in recent weeks.

"He's been breezing as good as can be expected," Attard said. "He had a good work last Monday, five-eighths in 59 and change, and he galloped out nicely. He worked a strong three-quarters the week before that. He's pretty fit and ready to run."

Trainer Sid Attard, who won last year's Vigil with Just Rushing, entered Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk in the seven-furlong event.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk has been in superb form this year at age 7. Sid Attard sent him down to Gulfstream for the winter with his brother, Tino, who is Kevin's father. The gelding won back-to-back claimers in January, while getting a pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk rejoined Sid Attard's Woodbine string in March. He led throughout an April 13 optional claimer, and was recently second to Legal Move in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier Stakes.

Attard was content with Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk's five-furlong breeze in 1:00 on the Polytrack last Monday.

"He worked very well," Attard said.

Sail From Seattle pressed the pace in the Jacques Cartier before weakening to third. He took the restricted Mt. Sassafras Stakes here in October at seven furlongs, a distance over which he's unbeaten.