07/02/2010 12:00AM

Attard has two coming up strong


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Sid Attard will saddle Jungle Wave and Signature Red in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Highlander Stakes, and both could have a say in the outcome. Run at six furlongs on turf, the Highlander is a supporting feature on Queen's Plate Day at Woodbine.

Jungle Wave captured the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes last August, four starts after Attard claimed him for $62,500. This year, he finished third in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup and fourth in the allowance prep for that stakes.

Attard said he was excited about Jungle Wave's quick breeze in 1:00 last Sunday, which was the fastest of 64 five-eighths works on the Polytrack.

"He worked very good," Attard said. "He's just starting to come around."

Signature Red reached full bloom during the spring. He earned a pair of triple-digit Beyer Figures in his last two outings, including a 105 when he finished third in the rapidly run Vigil Stakes.

Signature Red earned a 100 Beyer when he took the six-furlong allowance prep for the Highlander from just off the pace under Chantal Sutherland, Woodbine's leading stakes rider.

"He won easy," Attard said. "I've always liked him very much. He always showed us that he's a runner. He's kind of a nervous horse, so we don't train him really hard."

Field Commission won the Sovereign Award for champion sprinter last year, a campaign highlighted by a closing score in the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes over six furlongs on the grass.

This year, Field Commission chased Hollywood Hit home in the Jacques Cartier Stakes and the Vigil. He switched to the turf May 30 in the seven-furlong Connaught Cup and was a fast-closing second to Grand Adventure, who subsequently won the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes.

"He's a come-from-behind sprinter, and that leaves you very vulnerable to the pace," trainer Danny Vella said. "He got carried a little wide in his first start, and nobody was going to beat Hollywood Hit in his second start. He was flying last time, but [Grand Adventure] got the jump on us.

"Six furlongs on this course is great for him," Vella said. "It seems like there's more pace going short, which gives him more to run at."

Not Bourbon, the 2008 Queen's Plate winner, is also in the field. He tried the turf for the first time in the Connaught Cup, finishing fifth after a wide trip in his second start off a long layoff.

Maryland shipper Heros Reward captured the 2008 Highlander and was third in the race last year.