06/23/2009 11:00PM

Attfield concentrates on grass

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Michael Burns
Callwood Dancer, second in the the Nassau last month, is headed for the Dance Smartly.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Roger Attfield had green on his mind here Wednesday morning, sending out 10 horses to work over the turf training course while planning his stakes engagements both at home and on the road.

Leading the way was Spice Route, who breezed five furlongs in 59.40 seconds under jockey Jim McAleney. The move was the quickest at the distance by almost a full second.

"He worked a little faster than I wanted him to, but he was just cruising, so I guess I should be happy," Attfield said. "He's doing very, very well."

Spice Route was entered in last Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Singspiel but Attfield elected to scratch the 5-year-old gelding and aim for Monmouth Park's Grade 1, $750,000 United Nations over 1 3/8 miles of turf on July 4.

Musketier proved an able Singspiel substitute for Team Attfield, winning the 1 1/2-mile turf race by four lengths, and the 7-year-old horse is scheduled to make his next appearance in Belmont's Man o' War on July 11.

The Man o' War, a 1 3/8 mile turf race, offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $500,000.

Passager may try Churchill stakes

Passager, Callwood Dancer, and Lady Shakespeare also worked five furlongs on the turf training course for Attfield Wednesday morning.

Passager, going alone under jockey Jono Jones, was clocked in 1:00.20 and could make his next start in the Grade 2, $175,000 Firecracker, a one-mile turf race at Churchill Downs on July 4.

The 6-year-old gelding finished a close second in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile on the turf at Keeneland this spring and then ended fourth of seven when making his local debut in the Grade 3 Vigil over seven furlongs of Polytrack on May 18.

"He bruised a foot there, and missed a bit of time," said Attfield. "Jono was happy with him this morning."

Callwood Dancer, last year's Sovereign Award winning turf female, has been pointing for the July 11 Dance Smartly since finishing second in the Nassau here May 30.

"We've just let her cruise along for a bit," said Attfield, who had Callwood Dancer's regular rider, Eurico Rosa Da Silva, aboard for the drill.

The Dance Smartly is a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares while the Nassau went over 1 1/16 miles for the same conditions.

Lady Shakespeare, a very promising Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly, had regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons for her drill.

"I'll probably have to go on the road with her," Attfield said. "I don't see anything for her here."

Rematch looms in King Edward

In the meantime, Attfield will be represented by Society's Chairman in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 King Edward, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Society's Chairman is coming off a third-place finish in the Connaught Cup, a 1 1/16-mile turf race here May 24. Sterwins and Rahy's Attorney, the top two finishers, are also back for the King Edward.

"He got a bit far back there," said Attfield, of Society's Chairman's Connaught Cup effort.

"He's trained back well, but a mile and an eighth might be the maximum for him."

Society's Chairman finished a close second in last year's Connaught Cup but then finished seventh, beaten six lengths, in the King Edward.

Woodsmoke works for Ontario Damsel

Woodsmoke, a front-running winner of the Alywow in her last start here June 7, worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 on the training track turf course in preparation for next Sunday's Ontario Damsel.

"She relaxed early - she won't do that in the afternoon," said trainer Mike Keogh, who gave Woodsmoke's regular rider, Tyler Pizarro, a leg up for Wednesday's drill.

Woodsmoke, owned and bred by Gustav Schickedanz, led throughout the Alywow, an open 6 1/2-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The $125,000 Ontario Damsel, also at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf, is restricted to Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

Pair prep for holiday stakes

Equitable and Ghost Hour both worked five furlongs on the main track here Wednesday with an eye toward Wednesday's Dominion Day.

The Grade 2, $200,000 Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, will be one of two stakes offered for the special Canada Day matinee program.

The $100,000 Sweet Briar Too, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, is an overnight stakes and will need at least five entrants to be carded.

Equitable, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred horse who races for his owner/breeder Pin Oak Stable and is trained by Malcolm Pierce, equaled the fastest time of the 23 workers at the distance with his breeze in 59.20 seconds.

"I was very impressed," Pierce said. "He broke off five lengths behind another horse, and ran on by him."

Da Silva was in the irons for the move but is committed to Michael's Bad Boy if that one goes as anticipated in the Dominion Day.

Equitable, who joined Pierce's outfit this spring, made his local debut in the Grade 2 Eclipse here June 6 and ended two lengths back as the fourth-place finisher in that 1 1/16-mile race.

"I entered him in a 'three-other-than,' but when the race didn't go it kind of forced our hand to run in the Dominion Day," Pierce said.

"I've got to get a start into him, and our options are limited," Pierce said. "I don't think the distance will hurt and, hopefully, he can improve a bit from the Eclipse."

Ghost Hour, a 5-year-old Florida-bred horse who races for his owner and breeder, Stronach Stable, and is trained by Brian Lynch, worked in 1:01.40 under exercise rider Frank Todd.

"He worked real good. He's on schedule," said Lynch.

Ghost Hour last saw action at Mountaineer Park on May 29, finishing second in the Memorial Day over one mile of turf.

"He just got outrun by a nice horse," Lynch said. "A mile might be a bit short for what he wants to do. He might be a little better going longer.

"I'm looking forward to getting him back on the Poly here."