04/23/2009 11:00PM

Attfield runners finish 1-2 in Elkhorn


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Roger Attfield is a legend in his native Canada for a reason. The 69-year-old trainer has made the occasional splash in the United States, too, just as he did Friday by sending out the one-two finishers in the closing-day feature at Keeneland, the Grade 3, $200,000 Elkhorn Stakes.

Spice Route, ridden by Rene Douglas, had a great stalking trip in the 1 1/2-mile turf race before surging to the lead at the top of the stretch and finishing two lengths ahead of his Attfield stablemate, Musketier. The triumph was the second for Attfield in the Elkhorn, following Pellegrino three years ago, and his 12th overall in a stakes at Keeneland, a regular stop for him en route from south Florida to Toronto each spring.

Spice Route, a British-bred 5-year-old gelding, notched his fifth win from 19 career starts. He paid $10.20 as second choice in a field of 12 after finishing in 2:29.23 over a firm course.

"Everything went my way," Douglas said.

Musketier, a 27-1 shot, finished a neck before Brass Hat, with Buddy's Humor running fourth. Champs Elysees, the 3-2 favorite, was never a factor when seventh.

Ontrack attendance on a warm, windy afternoon was 20,256.

* Julien Leparoux finished as the leading rider at the meet by booting home 27 winners, five short of the 1990 record set by Randy Romero. The title was the fourth at Keeneland for Leparoux, who tied for the 2006 spring crown and was the outright leader at the 2006 fall and 2007 spring meets.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott was the leading trainer with 7 wins, while Augustin Stable led all owners with 6 wins.

* Total attendance for the 15 spring programs was 240,755, third-highest in track history. Daily average attendance was 16,050.