09/09/2001 11:00PM

Atto winner Breeders' Cup-bound

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Numerous Times, winner of Sunday's Atto Mile at Woodbine, is headed for the Breeders' Cup Mile, trainer Sid Attard confirmed Monday.

Affirmed Success, Quiet Resolve, and Irish Prize, the second- through fourth-place finishers in the race, and sixth-place Brahms also are slated to run in the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Affirmed Success, beaten a nose by Numerous Times Sunday, was headed back to his home base at Belmont Monday morning.

"It's seven weeks to the Breeders' Cup," said trainer Rick Schosberg. "We'll make a final decision in a week or two on whether to run him in the Kelso, or train him up to the Breeders' Cup."

Affirmed Success finished third in last year's Atto Mile and second in the Kelso, a one-mile turf race at Belmont, before running a close fourth in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.

Quiet Resolve, a 6-year-old who finished another nose back in third Sunday, is slated to make his next start in the Oct. 7 Keeneland Turf Mile.

Owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, Quiet Resolve finished third in Keeneland Turf Mile last year and then stretched out for the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Cup Turf, in which he finished a strong second. He could follow the same path or be entered in the Breeders' Cup Mile this time around.

Irish Prize, beaten three-quarters of a length for third money here Sunday, was headed for Belmont Monday. He probably will proceed directly to the Breeders' Cup Mile.

"We'll just see how he does," said trainer Neil Drysdale. "He trained up to this race very well, with a little break. I was very pleased with his condition going into this race."

Brahms, a 4-year-old who was beaten less than 2 1/2 lengths in the Atto Mile, was headed to Churchill Downs Monday, and could make his next start in the Keeneland Turf Mile, with the Breeders' Cup Turf Mile his ultimate objective.

Atto Mile an adventure again

The Atto Mile always had been an adventure, with three photo finishes and a disqualification among the first four runnings.

But Sunday's fifth running topped them all with two noses separating the first three finishers and a claim of foul, this time disallowed.

Neither trainer Sid Attard nor Bob Harvey, a member of The Committee Stable which owns Numerous Times, were immediately certain they had won.

"I watched it outside, from the fourth floor," said Harvey. "Then I looked at the TV, and said 'yes.' But then the second time I looked at it, I didn't know. The third time, we headed for the elevator and the winner's circle.

"But by the time we got downstairs, the inquiry sign was up. Nothing really comes easy with this horse."

Rick Schosberg, trainer of the favored Affirmed Success, was philosophical after his gelding did everything right but couldn't win the Atto Mile.

"I watched the race from a box, on the second floor," he said. "From my angle, it looked like we were second.

"When I saw the replay, in real time on the TV screen, it looked like we won. But when they showed the slow motion, he'd lost by an inch."

Once the numbers had been posted, Schosberg's hopes were renewed after Quiet Resolve claimed foul against Numerous Times.

"There was jostling going on behind us; that could have gone either way, too," said Schosberg. "The anticipation, between the photo and the inquiry, made for pretty high drama."

Quiet Resolve, who won the 1999 Atto Mile via disqualification, played his role to near-perfection as the third-place finisher.

"If he gets a clean trip he probably wins it," said Hugh Chatman, assistant to trainer Mark Frostad. "He got shut off going into the turn, and lost the position he had. And then he got parked way wide turning for home."

Atto gives Attard, Husbands greatest wins

Numerous Times, now unbeaten in six starts, scored the biggest victory in the careers of his both his trainer, Sid Attard, and jockey, Patrick Husbands.

"We believed in him," said the 49-year-old Attard, "but it was a big jump, from a prep race to a Grade 1 stakes."

Numerous Times made his stakes debut in the Atto Mile and was coming off a victory in the allowance prep for the Play the King Handicap.

Attard also pointed out that his manner of going could have been the key to victory for Numerous Times.

"He runs with his head up," Attard said Monday morning. "If he doesn't carry his head up, he doesn't win yesterday."

Husbands had begun celebrating just yards beyond the finish line, exchanging high-fives with Quiet Resolve's jockey, Todd Kabel.

"I knew he won the race," said the 27-year-old Husbands. "Todd told me; he congratulated me."

Attards have a nice (Atto Mile) day

It was a great day for the Attard trainer clan here Sunday.

Tino Attard, three years older than Sid, sent out the winners of three allowance races: Royal Fact in the $61,800 opener, Flying Baron in the $58,100 seventh race, and Cosa Rara in the $51,800 final.

Kevin Attard, 25-year-old son of Tino, saddled the second and richest stakes winner of his young career when El Soprano won the $181,750 Summer Stakes.

It also was a great day for Stronach Stables Inc., which won four races. Team Stronach won the Summer, the $243,000 Canadian Handicap with Diadella, who is trained by Malcolm Pierce, and two allowance races - with Royal Fact and Flying Baron.

It was a bad day for jockey Jerry Bailey, who finished a troubled second aboard odds-on favorite Miesque's Approval in the Summer, was unseated by his mount Step With Style (the second choice) at the start of the Canadian, and then suffered a tough loss on Affirmed Success in the Atto Mile.