11/23/2007 12:00AM

Attfield taking final shot with pair of fillies

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Roger Attfield soon will be making his annual pilgrimage to Payson Park, where he will enjoy some Florida sunshine while training a string of 35 horses and sending out the odd starter at Gulfstream Park.

But in the meantime, the Attfield stable has some unfinished business locally, including a pair of entrants for Sunday's Bessarabian Stakes.

Sudsy Baby and Quelle Beaute, both 4-year-old Florida-breds, will represent Attfield in the $150,000 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.

"There are allowance races next week where I would prefer to run them, but those races might not go," Attfield said. "I don't want to be caught just sitting here."

Sudsy Baby is coming off a second-place finish in a six-furlong optional claimer/fourth-level allowance here Nov. 11. Prior to that, Sudsy Baby ended a closing fourth in the one-mile River Memories over a yielding turf course.

"She's been unlucky all year," said Attfield, who has watched Sudsy Baby finish second three times and third once while failing to score in eight outings. "She's running her race, but she always ran into somebody she couldn't beat."

Sudsy Baby, owned by Winston Penny, finished fifth in last year's Bessarabian when trained by Stanley Baresich.

Quelle Beaute is coming into the Bessarabian off a sixth-place finish in the River Memories, where she was beaten just three lengths.

"She didn't run a bad race," Attfield said. "I'd really like to get some black type on her, which I know she's capable of doing, but she'll probably have to do that on turf."

Quelle Beaute, owned and bred by Haras Santa Maria de Araras, is winless in five starts on Polytrack but did finish a good second over the surface here last September.

Not Bourbon done for season

Not Bourbon, fourth in the seven-furlong Frost King here Nov. 14, will not see action again this season.

"I'm not going to go another jump with him," Attfield said. "He's a nice horse. I'll take him to Florida and bring him back next year."

Attfield, who sent out Not Bourbon to win the six-furlong Bull Page here Oct. 13, had planned to run the colt in next Saturday's 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie but scrapped the plan following the Frost King.

"He was much, much too nervous and washy when he was saddling," Attfield said. "He's never done that before.

"Something was bothering him. He had a bit of a temperature the next day."

Not Bourbon, an Ontario-sired homebred who races for Charles Fipke, concludes his 2-year-old campaign with 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third, and earnings of $151,160.

Tanaka sends two horses to Attfield

Musketier and Rising Cross, both owned by Gary Tanaka, are new faces in Attfield's Payson Park contingent.

Musketier, a 5-year-old horse who was bred in Germany, was a Group 3 winner in France in 2004.

In his North American debut and his final start for trainer Pascal Bary, Musketier finished a closing third in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Red Smith over 1 3/8 miles of yielding turf on Nov. 10.

Musketier has won 5 of his 25 starts, adding 3 seconds and 1 third while banking $266,444.

Rising Cross, a 4-year-old filly who was bred in England, was a Group 2 winner at York last year.

In her North American debut and her final start for trainer John Best, Rising Cross finished fifth in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Long Island over 1 1/2 miles of good going on Nov. 11.

Rising Cross has won 5 of her 30 starts, adding 2 seconds and 2 thirds while banking $482,341.

Musketier and Rising Cross were shipped to Payson Park shortly after their Aqueduct appearances.

"We're going to freshen them up over the winter," Attfield said. "They're both pretty empty horses right now.

"They'll come back through Keeneland next spring, then here."

High expectations for Russian Rosie

Attfield also is looking for good things next year from recent acquisition Russian Rosie, a 3-year-old filly who finished fifth when making her local debut in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf on Nov. 10.

A one-time winner in England, Russian Rosie was purchased by a syndicate organized by Three Chimneys Farm and made her final start for trainer Jonathan Portman in the Maple Leaf.

"I thought it was quite an encouraging race, running here more or less off the plane, from what she's been doing," Attfield said. "She ran against some fairly nice horses over there. She should be a lot of fun next year."

Sovereign Award eligibility deadline

Sunday will mark the last day for horses to qualify for Sovereign Award eligibility, which requires a minimum of two starts in Canada during the current season in the 2-year-old categories and three starts in all other divisions.

The Jockey Club of Canada, which conducts the Sovereign Awards, downsized the three-start requirement for 2-year-olds this year. The JCC rules committee made the change to allow for a late-blooming juvenile to qualify for championship status.

One of the top juvenile Sovereign hopefuls made his two starts in Canada early this year. Kodiak Kowboy, who shipped up from south of the border, was unplaced in a two-furlong race here April 29 and returned to win the five-furlong Victoria back on June 17.

Kodiak Kowboy, who is owned by Vinery Stable and Fox Hill Farm and is trained by Steve Asmussen, went on to win a pair of graded stakes and to finish third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Voting on the Sovereign Awards, which is offered online only, will open 9 a.m. Thursday and close at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3.

A total of 65 voters, almost perfectly divided between East and West, are eligible to participate.

The finalists in each division, except for Horse of the Year, will be announced Dec. 6, and the winners will be honored at the 33rd annual Sovereign Awards ceremony at the downtown Toronto Western Harbour Castle on Dec. 14.

* Jamie Martin, Woodbine's senior vice-president, racing, said management and jockeys decided to cancel Thursday's card after one race. A snowstorm hit the area Thursday morning, and the jockeys deemed the Polytrack unsafe.