06/25/2007 12:00AM

Attard coping with a weekend of tough breaks

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Queen's Plate weekend was a particularly draining experience for trainer Kevin Attard and the family of the late Steve Stavro, who had entered both Leonnatus Anteas and Alezzandro in Sunday's $1 million showpiece at Woodbine.

Leonnatus Anteas, the stable's more fancied Queen's Plate candidate, wound up spending Plate Day at the nearby University of Guelph's veterinary clinic after developing an infected pastern.

The problem was discovered Thursday night, and when it did not clear up quickly, Leonnatus Anteas was shipped to the clinic on Saturday morning and immediately treated with antibiotics.

"Whenever you get an infection, you get concerned that it could get into a joint or a tendon and cause serious problems," said Attard, who was heading out to visit Leonnatus Anteas on Monday.

Meanwhile, Alezzandro, under jockey Todd Kabel, led through all but the last few jumps of the Queen's Plate only to be caught by Mike Fox and end a half-length back in second.

"He ran a great race," said Attard. "He ran his eyeballs out. He was making his third start in his life, and he kind of got fatigued."

Alezzandro had won his debut over 6 1/2 furlongs here May 13 and then led much of the way before fading to third in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 3.

Jiggs Coz, a handy winner of the Plate Trial, made a run at Alezzandro on Sunday but came up short and was beaten a total of 1 3/4 lengths under David Clark.

"Dave said he never had any horse, anywhere in the race," said Sid Attard, who trains Jiggs Coz for the Jim Dandy Stable of Mel Lawson. "He went into the race great, and scoped clean after. It was just one of those days. He just didn't fire."

Daaher was making his third career appearance, his first start around two turns, and his Woodbine debut in the Queen's Plate. Backed down to second favoritism at 7-2, Daaher finished fourth under Alan Garcia.

"He ran well," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin from his Belmont base. "He's a funny horse - he's a little bit green and needs some more seasoning.

"He was laying in a little bit, not cooperating real well with the jockey."

All being well, the top four finishers from the Queen's Plate will go at it again in the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown, the $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 15.

Include Us, a maiden trained by Roger Attfield, rallied for fifth after trailing badly in the early stages.

"A maiden race would be the obvious spot for him now," said Attfield.

Marchfield, the third choice at just under 4-1, finished sixth under regular rider Patrick Husbands.

"I don't think we really had any excuse," said Mark Casse, who trains Marchfield for owner-breeder Eugene Melnyk. "He came to the race good. He was fine afterwards, and scoped clean.

"If anything, I would say the track was very tough for closers. We had great concerns when we were in the paddock. But, the winner ran well, and he ran over the same track we ran over."

Casse also plans to proceed to the Prince of Wales with Marchfield.

Bringing up the rear in the Queen's Plate were Twilight Meteor and Cobrador, a pair of shippers from south of the border

Twilight Meteor was on his way back to Belmont on Monday, while Cobrador was returning to Arlington.