07/01/2010 11:00PM

Attfield doubles his chances in Singspiel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Spice Route loomed a solid favorite in last year's Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine but trainer Roger Attfield elected to scratch the horse and send him to Monmouth Park for the Grade 1 United Nations. Spice Route finished fourth in the U.N., but Musketier got the money for Attfield in the Singspiel.

On Sunday, Spice Route makes his first start in six months in the Grade 3, $150,000 Singspiel, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

And, on the off chance that Spice Route does not bring his "A" game, Attfield will be fielding a capable backup in Perfect Shower, who won the Breeders' Stakes at the same distance as the Singspiel over the local turf course last year.

Spice Route, a 6-year-old gelding who is owned by Attfield in partnership with Dick Bonnycastle and Ralph Johnson, finished second going 1 1/2 miles last time out in the W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder on Dec. 26.

"He grabbed himself very badly during a workout in Florida and missed Keeneland," said Attfield, who sent out Spice Route to win the Grade 2 Elkhorn, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, at the Lexington, Ky., track in the spring of 2009. "It's kind of a long layoff, but he's training like he's ready."

Mike Smith, in town to ride Giant's Tomb in the Queen's Plate, has picked up the mount on Spice Route.

Perfect Shower, a homebred 4-year-old colt who races for Charles Fipke, was coming off a maiden win for a $25,000 claiming price when he captured the Breeders' at 46-1. His third win came in his last start, under second-level allowance terms over 1 1/8 miles of turf here June 19, and Perfect Shower should relish the return to 12 furlongs under his regular rider Jono Jones.

"He's doing great," said Attfield. "He's a very improving horse."

The field of nine includes a pair of New York shippers in Forgotten Dynasty and Solitaire.

Forgotten Dynasty, a lightly raced 4-year-old colt trained by Seth Benzel, beat more than half the field in his last two starts, which came in graded turf stakes at Monmouth and Pimlico, and he will be traveling beyond 1 1/8 miles for the first time.

Javier Castellano, here to pilot Dark Cloud Dancer in the Queen's Plate, has the mount.

Solitaire, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Jim Bond, is a Canadian-bred, and his previous visits to Woodbine included third-place finishes in both the Queen's Plate and Breeders'.

The Singspiel will be the first start in almost seven months for Solitaire, who will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland.