10/23/2007 11:00PM

Attfield well represented in final turf races

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - It's last call for grass racing here at Woodbine, with a total of four turf stakes split between the Saturday and Sunday cards.

Saturday's turf offerings are the 1 1/4-mile Chief Bearhart for 3-year-olds and upward and the one-mile River Memories for fillies and mares. Both are overnight stakes worth $125,000.

Sunday's turf races will be the Labeeb, an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds and upward, and the Bunty Lawless, for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward. Both are scheduled for one mile and also offer purses of $125,000.

Last year, all four stakes were taken off the turf.

And that's part of the reason why trainer Roger Attfield plans to cover the bases by entering Eccentric, Palladio, and Pellegrino in both the Chief Bearhart and the Labeeb.

Eccentric, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Gary Tanaka, was making his first start in more than three months when he finished a troubled second behind the talented 3-year-old Leonnatus Anteas here in the Oct. 13 Durham Cup at 1 1/8 miles.

Attfield considered sending Eccentric to Keeneland for this Saturday's Grade 3 Fayette, a $150,000 race that he won last year, but elected to stay in his own back yard.

"He ran a really, really big race last time," Attfield said. "A mile and a quarter on the turf would be fine for him, but whether the races go on the turf or the Polytrack won't make any difference."

Palladio, a 5-year-old horse owned by Haras Santa Maria de Araras, hasn't been at his sharpest lately and is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Durham Cup.

"He's not running the way I'd like him to run, but he's still in really good shape," Attfield said. "We've just lost our way a little bit, but I'm sure he'll come back to form."

Pellegrino, an 8-year-old horse owned by Tanaka, is coming off a 10th-place finish in the Grade 2 Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf race captured by subsequent Canadian International winner Cloudy's Knight.

"He's just a hard-knocking guy that, on his day, can just surprise people," Attfield said. "He's an old horse that's still going along and still happy in life."

Pellegrino won last fall's Chief Bearhart. Saturday's running attracted a field of just seven, including Sky Classic runner-up Sterwins.

Attfield also entered Quelle Beaute and Sudsy Baby in the River Memories, which attracted a field of 17. All are scheduled to start.

Lynch duo set for turf stakes

Brian Lynch, private trainer for Stronach Stable, will be represented in both turf stakes here Saturday, with Royal Challenger set for the Chief Bearhart and Wedded Woman for the River Memories.

Royal Challenger is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Sky Classic, where he was beaten just 3 1/2 lengths.

"He was coming along the rail but a horse backed up in front of him, and he had to take back and go to the outside," Lynch said. "He doesn't have that turn of foot; he's sort of a grinder."

Wedded Woman finished last of nine in the Grade 2 Canadian at 1 1/8 miles on turf here Sept. 16 after winning her first three outings of the season.

"The Canadian was too quick back," Lynch said. "We'd spread her races well, all year.

"And if this race comes off, she's handy on the Poly. The same goes for Royal Challenger."

Aristocrat joins Lynch at Woodbine

Aristocrat, a 5-year-old horse who is a full brother to Ghostzapper, has joined Lynch's string here and breezed over the main track in 49.80 seconds on Wednesday morning.

Aristocrat, most recently a member of Bobby Frankel's string at Belmont, won his only start on Polytrack in a 6 1/2-furlong, second-level allowance at Keeneland this spring.

His primary target here is the Grade 3, $125,000 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward on Nov. 18.

Nottawasaga returns in River Memories

Eric Coatrieux also will have entrants in both of Saturday's turf stakes.

Coatrieux, the private trainer for Chiefswood Stable, has entered Nottawasaga for the River Memories and Skipped Bail for the Chief Bearhart.

Nottawasaga, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who began her season in encouraging fashion at Gulfstream Park, will be making her first start since Feb. 3 in the River Memories.

Coatrieux had been pointing Nottawasaga for the Canadian, which was to have been her prep for the E.P. Taylor, but that plan went awry.

"She had an entrapped epiglottis just before the Canadian," he said. "We had to operate, and then she got a little bit of an infection. She lost some time, but she's good again now."

Skipped Bail, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old gelding, was winless in his first 11 appearances but then got on a roll and will be seeking his fourth straight score in the Labeeb. Skipped Bail found the winning touch when he hooked up with apprentice jockey Tyler Pizarro.

"In the past, it was tough to rate him," Coatrieux said. "Pizarro does a good job; he takes him back."

Early post for Saturday's card

There will a special first post time of 11:45 a.m. for Saturday's 11-race program. Post time for the final race is 5:10 p.m.

Advance wagering on Saturday's Woodbine card and the Saturday Breeders' Cup program at Monmouth will be available Friday, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing through the conclusion of the evening's simulcasts at about 11 p.m. Pick three, win four, and pick six wagering on Saturday's card will not open until Friday's live races here have been concluded.

Wagering on Woodbine and Monmouth's Saturday cards will reopen at 10:35 a.m. Saturday. Post time for the first race at Monmouth is 11 a.m.

Two Breeders' Cup pick fours will offer guaranteed pools of $2 million. The pick four takeout is 15 percent at Monmouth, but will be 25 percent here.

There will be a $2 pick six beginning with the sixth race at Monmouth, and the $3 million guaranteed pool would include any carryover from Friday's pick six. There will be a mandatory payout Saturday.

The daily doubles linking Friday and Saturday races at Monmouth will not be offered here. Such wagers require approval from the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, and the wagers were not announced in time.