12/01/2005 12:00AM

Attard in front and loaded for stretch drive


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Heading into the final eight days of the meeting, trainer Sid Attard was atop the standings as he seeks his second straight title here at Woodbine.

At 55, Attard also will be looking for his first Sovereign Award as outstanding trainer. He finished third behind Bob Tiller and Mark Frostad last year, when he was a finalist for the first time.

Through Wednesday, Attard's 60 victories this year included six stakes wins, matching his total of last season.

Contributing three of those stakes victories was One for Rose, who will be looking for her third straight Sovereign Award in the older filly and mare category. A 6-year-old who is entered in the Keeneland January auction, One for Rose was claimed for $40,000 from her first start in October 2002 for the Tucci Stable of Carlo and Lou Tucci.

Attard has four more potential stakes entrants over the final two weekends of this meeting, and all were claimed here this season: Stonington, claimed for $40,000 on July 23; Miss Concerto, claimed for $50,000 on July 31; Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk, claimed for $50,000 on July 2; and Seattlespectacular, claimed for $40,000 on Aug. 11.

Stonington and Miss Concerto both are entered in Saturday's Grade 3, $172,050 Bessarabian Handicap, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Stonington, a 6-year-old mare owned by Frank and Kathleen Lynett, has won 3 of 5 starts for Attard. Two of those victories, including her last start Nov. 13, came when Stonington ran for the $60,000 claiming price in second-level allowance races.

In the Bessarabian, Stonington will begin from post 1 under regular rider Simon Husbands.

"This mare, she's in good shape, and she loves seven furlongs," said Attard. "The only bad race she ran for me, she had a little lung infection."

Miss Concerto, a 4-year-old filly owned by the Tucci Stable, is 2 for 4 since being claimed. Her successes came in $62,000 optional claiming races, including her last start Oct. 23.

Corey Fraser will ride Miss Concerto for the first time in the Bessarabian, beginning from post 10.

"I expect her to run a good race, too," said Attard. "She likes to run fresh. But I'm not sure about the seven-eighths. When she's too close early, she has no kick. I hope [Fraser] can get her to relax."

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk is headed to the $125,000 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward here Dec. 10.

A 4-year-old gelding owned by the Tucci Stable, Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk has started six times for his new barn and recorded two victories, both under third-level allowance terms. During that span, Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk also has finished second in two sprint stakes and was second last time out in the allowance prep for the Kennedy Road.

"He had the 1-hole there, and he ended up four wide," said Attard.

Seattlespectacular is on target for the $125,000 Valedictory, a 1 3/4-mile handicap for 3-year-olds and upward on closing day, Dec. 11.

A 5-year-old gelding, Seattlespectacular has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including the Chief Bearhart Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf here Oct. 29. In his last start, in the 1 1/2-mile prep for the Valedictory, Seattlespectacular finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length.

"I think if he didn't go four wide, he'd have won the race," said Attard. "He won't relax. I'm going to take the blinkers off him. I couldn't take them off when he won three in a row."

More distance could help Tamara

Tamara, who is coming off a rallying third-place finish in the six-furlong Ontario Fashion, will try for her first stakes victory in the Bessarabian.

"She got the 1-hole last time, and the post killed us," said Nick Nosowenko, who trains Tamara and owns her in partnership with his father, Mike. "There were horses sitting outside her; she had nowhere to go. Then everybody started moving at the same time, and she ended up four wide and lost three or four lengths. She missed second by a nose and galloped out in front."

Nosowenko, who is in his first full season as a trainer, said he believes the extra furlong of the Bessarabian will help Tamara.

"If she runs back to that last race she'll be very tough," said Nosowenko, who is seeking his first stakes victory. "She's doing much better going into this race."

Tamara drew the outside post in the field of 12 for the Bessarabian, which did not thrill Nosowenko. "I've been having bad luck with posts," he said.

Diamon Su wins to tune of $266

Wednesday's nine-race card went out with a bang, as Diamon Su was up for a neck victory and a meeting-high payoff of $266.40.

The exactor onto 8-1 Yippee Tomboy returned $2,216.10. Kiristena, at 11-1, completed the triactor, and the two $1 winning tickets sold each returned $20,871.45.

Woodbine offers 20-cent superfecta wagering, and $1.20 was wagered on the winning combination, which was completed by "all" in the fourth spot. The $1 superfecta payoff was $20,599.40.

A 5-year-old mare, Diamon Su is trained by Bob Neumann and was ridden for the first time by 10-pound apprentice Michelle Rainford. Diamon Su had failed to finish in the top three in 12 previous starts this year and was beaten by double digits in all but one race.

Weekend winter mixed sale

The local Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society will host its two-day winter mixed sale here this Saturday and Sunday.

Both sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodbine sales pavilion.

Broodmares will be the first horses offered for sale with weanlings, yearlings and horses of racing age following in that order.