08/12/2001 11:00PM

Attfield applauds his jockey


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A Breeders' Stakes victory is the latest feather in the cap for trainer Roger Attfield, who saddled his seventh winner of that race, final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, when Sweetest Thing romped to victory at Woodbine Saturday.

But Attfield, who also has won 11 other Canadian Triple Crown races - seven Queen's Plates and four Prince of Wales Stakes - was quick to pass on much of the credit to jockey Jim McAleney, who rode Sweetest Thing to the biggest victory of his career.

"I'm very happy for Jim," said Attfield, who also is a co-owner of Sweetest Thing, along with Mickey Canino and Bill Werner. "This filly was a real problem-child to train. Jimmy came down to Florida this winter, and brought his family. He worked with this filly for three months; she was quite difficult.

"I always said to him, 'With all the time you've spent with this filly, if she gets to the races you'll ride her.' "

Sweetest Thing, a $35,000 purchase at the local select yearling sale, did more than get to the races. The $500,000 Breeders' Stakes was her third win in four starts in a career that began June 7.

"Jimmy thinks she can still improve, and he was quite impressed with her anyway," said Attfield. "She's quite an exciting prospect."

The $250,000 Wonder Where, the 1 1/4-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, and the final leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara at Woodbine Sept. 29, is Sweetest Thing's next target.

Attfield, however, is not ruling out an interim race. Sweetest Thing could run in the $100,000 Halton, one of six yearling sales stakes that will be run here Sept. 3.

"She could actually run there, and still have almost four weeks to the Wonder Where," said Attfield. "That is a possibility, she could do it that way. It wouldn't be too much to ask, I don't think."

The Halton, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up, is open to runners of both sexes.

Seaway next for Meadow Gem?

Meadow Gem, another talented 3-year-old filly, remained undefeated in four starts while making her stakes debut here in Saturday's Duchess.

A syndicate that includes L Q Racing Stable, Kinghaven Farm, and other partners owns a 75 percent interest in Meadow Gem, a Florida-bred purchased for $82,000 as a yearling.

The remaining 25 percent of the filly is owned by trainer Bob Tiller, who also is a minor shareholder in the syndicate.

"She's a Grade 3 stakes winner now, and she's a serious filly," said Tiller. "We'll take a look around, and see what there is for her maybe States-wise, but I think we might take a shot at older mares in the Seaway. I'm not afraid of hooking older horses with her; I think she'll be competitive."

The $100,000 Seaway, a seven-furlong race, will be run here Sept. 2.

While Meadow Gem has piqued the interest of some prospective purchasers, Tiller is not leaning in the direction of selling her.

"There's no reason to sell her at this time," he said. "We might, down the line, when her racing days are over. But we're going to try and have some fun with this filly; she looks like the kind of filly you can have a lot of fun with.

"On a given day, up to seven-eighths of a mile, she might beat anybody."

Win City works in Canada for Travers

Win City, another star in Tiller's care, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.20 under Constant Montpellier on the main track here Sunday.

"He scoped 100 percent clean," said Tiller, who had suffered a minor setback with Win City when the gelding came back coughing from his Aug. 5 workout.

"We'll work him again next Sunday, and if he's okay, then he'll be on the van to Saratoga."

Win City's target there is the Grade 1 Travers, a $1 million race Aug. 25. Regular rider Constant Montpellier has the call in the 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Day to ride Dancethruthedawn

Dancethruthedawn, the daughter of Mr. Prospector and Dance Smartly who beat Win City here in the Queen's Plate but then had the tables turned in Fort Erie's Prince of Wales, also is slated to run in a Grade 1 at Saratoga.

Owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, Dancethruthedawn worked five furlongs in 1:00 on the training track here Saturday and was scheduled to leave Tuesday for Saratoga to run in Saturday's Alabama. She was to be accompanied by stablemate Catch the Ring, who is going to run in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign, a $400,000, 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares Aug. 24 at Saratoga.

Frostad said that Dancethruthedawn will be ridden by Pat Day, who rode her dam in the last six starts of her Eclipse and Sovereign Award-winning campaign of 1991, a year in which she was undefeated in eight starts.

Frostad is to join the fillies at Saratoga Wednesday but will be at Arlington Park for its big stakes day Saturday, to saddle Quiet Resolve in the Arlington Million, Only to You in the Beverly D., and Strut the Stage in the Secretariat.

* Strut the Stage and Only to You worked in company on the E.P. Taylor turf course here Saturday. Strut the Stage was clocked in 1:12.80 under jockey Todd Kabel after breaking off behind Only to You, who was timed in 1:13.40 under exercise rider Mark Ramsammy.

* Kabel has the call on the three Sam-Son Farm horses who will run at Arlington.