10/20/2007 11:00PM

Attila's Storm fresher for his third try

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Rick Schosberg still carries around a half- bent racing plate in his briefcase as a reminder of Attila's Storm's experience in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Attila's Storm finished fifth, beaten less than five lengths by eventual Eclipse Award champion Thor's Echo, in the 2006 Sprint at Churchill Downs. It was an amazing performance, considering Attila's Storm ran more than half the race on a pair of hind shoes that had been twisted severely out of proportion after his heels were clipped by Pomeroy in the run down the backstretch.

"He got jumped on pretty good by Pomeroy near the half-mile pole," recalled Schosberg. "He's lucky he didn't bust a sesamoid running on bent shoes like he did."

Schosberg is hoping Attila's Storm, a 5-year-old son of Forest Wildcat, will have better racing luck when he returns for his third straight appearance in the Sprint on Saturday at Monmouth Park. Attila's Storm finished fourth behind Silver Train after contesting the pace in the 2005 Sprint at Belmont Park.

"I think he's coming into this Breeders' Cup as sharp as he was for the first two," said Schosberg. "But this year he'll be a little fresher by design since we skipped the Vosburgh."

Attila's Storm has started just four times this season, with his only win a 1 1/4-length triumph in the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap. He has finished second in the Grade 2 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap to Diabolical, second in the Paumonok to Bishop Court Hill, and third in the Grade 1 Forego to Midnight Lute. Attila's Storm also has valuable experience over the Monmouth Park strip, where he captured a second-level allowance race by 5 1/2 lengths in September 2005.

"He didn't face any world beaters that day but he handled the surface beautifully," said Schosberg.

Schosberg is making no bones about his strategy this weekend for Attila's Storm in a Sprint lineup loaded with speed.

"This is the best sprint race in the world so of course there's going to be a lot of speed in the field," said Schosberg. "But let the others be the ones to do something else. Our strategy is to let Attila's Storm run his race and that means to be on the lead. I'll give him a sharp blowout Tuesday or Wednesday, right on top of the race, and send him in there Saturday with his nostrils flaring."