09/23/2003 11:00PM

Atto threesome bound for Shadwell

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It's official: The first three finishers from the Atto Mile will be heading to Keeneland for next Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile.

The Shadwell Mile, a Grade 1 race worth $600,000, had been on the schedule of Touch of the Blues prior to his win here in the Sept. 14 Atto Mile.

The connections of Soaring Free and Perfect Soul, the two-three finishers in the Atto Mile, had expressed an interest in the Keeneland race and have followed through on those inclinations.

The connections of all three horses are hoping to use the Shadwell Mile as another stepping-stone to the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Oct. 25.

Touch of the Blues, a 6-year-old horse who had been based in California with trainer Neil Drysdale, stayed at Woodbine to prepare for the Shadwell Mile.

Wednesday, with assistant trainer Robert Guest in the irons, Touch of the Blues breezed four furlongs in 52.40 seconds on the E.P. Taylor turf course.

"He just cruised along; I stayed really wide," Guest said. "It was quite soft out there, but he liked that.

"It was just a nice letdown work after the race. He needed to get a breeze into him to set him up for his work at Keeneland next week."

Touch of the Blues, who is scheduled to van out Friday night, finished a closing second, beaten a neck, in last year's Shadwell Turf Mile. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux is scheduled to ride Saturday.

Soaring Free tested on new ground

Soaring Free, a 4-year-old gelding, will be racing on a turf course other than Woodbine's for the first time in the Shadwell Mile.

Owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, Soaring Free is slated to leave Tuesday and his regular rider, Todd Kabel, is scheduled to join him at Keeneland Saturday.

Perfect Soul, a 5-year-old horse owned and bred by Charles Fipke and trained here by Roger Attfield, will leave for Keeneland Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wednesday, with exercise rider Paul O'Sullivan aboard, Perfect Soul worked four furlongs in 49.80 seconds on a fast training track.

Jose Santos rode Perfect Soul for the first time in the Atto Mile, but Attfield said arrangements for the Shadwell Mile have not been finalized.

Seeking the Ring retired to breeding shed

Saturday's La Lorgnette Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, will go with five entrants following the defection of two leading candidates.

Seeking the Ring, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Northernette here in her last start, had been pointing for the La Lorgnette but will be retired after suffering a fractured sesamoid in a recent gallop. Owned by Sam-Son and trained by Frostad, Seeking the Ring will be bred next year.

Seeking the Ring finished in a dead heat for first in Fort Erie's 1 1/16-mile Bison City, the second leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies. Seeking the Ring also finished second in the first leg of that series, the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks. In seven career starts, all this year, the homebred daughter of Seeking the Gold and Radiant Ring won three times and finished second twice while earning $314,515.

Kissed by a Prince, who became a stakes winner when she won the 1 1/16-mile Eternal Search here by 14 3/4 lengths July 30, was on target for the La Lorgnette until Wednesday morning, when she tied up badly following a gallop on the training track.

"You don't know how sick I am about it," said Mike DePaulo, who trains Kissed by a Prince for owner Heather Landymore.

Hour of Justice, another leading light among the nine La Lorgnette nominees, has been put away for the season by trainer Reade Baker after pulling a muscle in her back during a recent workout.

Silver Bird in allowance prep for stakes

Silver Bird, whom Baker trains for owner Jim McAlpine, will face five rivals here Friday in a first-level allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The race will serve as Silver Bird's prep for the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 12.

Silver Bird, who won her debut at 5 1/2 furlongs over a muddy track on Aug. 2, finished seventh on turf in the Grade 3 Natalma at one mile here Sept. 6.

Baker opted to bypass last Saturday's 1 1/16-mile Mazarine, and successfully gambled that Friday's allowance race would provide Silver Bird with a more appropriately timed stepping-stone for the Princess Elizabeth.

Silver Bird will have regular rider Jim McAleney up and will be racing with blinkers for the first time.

"I don't know if she needs them," Baker said, "but she worked well with them."

Leading Role spotted to live up to name

Leading Role, who is trained and owned in part by Gail Casselman, appears to have found a likely spot for success in Friday's classified allowance feature for fillies and mares.

The $78,500 race, scheduled for 6 1/2 furlongs on turf, attracted a field of seven plus one main-track-only entrant.

Leading Role, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, has raced just six times this year, with her lone win coming in an open allowance race at six furlongs on turf here July 13.

"It's a bit difficult to find a spot if they're not Canadian-bred and you're going to run on the turf," Casselman said.

Leading Role finished a distant third in her last grass race, which came over soft going in the Grade 3 Royal North here Aug. 2.

"The turf was pretty deep; she prefers it firm," Casselman said. "She actually came back a little bit cut up from that."

In her subsequent start, Leading Role finished fifth but was beaten just 4 1/4 lengths in the Seaway, run at seven furlongs on the main track.

"Six furlongs on dirt suits her better than seven furlongs," Casselman said. "She has run well on dirt, but she just doesn't fire like she does on the turf."