07/08/2009 11:00PM

Awesome Rhythm trying turf

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Michael Burns
Awesome Rhythm, winner of the Wando, Marine, and (above) Victoria Park, gets a turf start in the Toronto Cup.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Awesome Rhythm has made a clean sweep of the first three open distance stakes for the 3-year-old male division this season.

But Awesome Rhythm's wins in the 1 1/16-mile Wando, the 1 1/16 mile Marine, and the 1 1/8 mile Victoria Park came on Polytrack, and he will have a new surface to contend with in Saturday's Toronto Cup over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Awesome Rhythm, a Kentucky-bred colt who is owned by Domenic Triumbari and trained by John Ross, was working on turf for the first time when he breezed three furlongs in 36.80 seconds on the training course here June 24.

Jim McAleney was in the irons that day and has been Awesome Rhythm's partner through his current streak.

"He feels like an old-fashioned horse," said McAleney. "He's just a great, big, tough warrior who I think will do anything you ask him too - grass, Poly, dirt.

"He's one of those horses you really look forward to riding. You have all the confidence in the world he's going to show up."

Only four other horses are showing up for the Toronto Cup, and those include the maiden Hisaki, who was supplemented at a cost of $3,000.

Trainer Mark Casse had three horses nominated to the race and has elected to go with Coffee Bar, a Kentucky-bred gelding owned by Will Farish.

Coffee Bar, highly regarded heading into his first campaign, won his maiden over 1 1/16 miles in his third appearance here.

Stabled with Casse's division at Santa Anita this winter, Coffee Bar contested a pair of one-mile turf races and finished a fairly close fifth in the Pasadena.

Since returning to Woodbine, Coffee Bar has finished second in a pair of first-level allowances with the latest over seven furlongs of grass.

"A mile and an eighth is more his cup of tea," said Casse. "In the stakes race in California he didn't get going until really late, and he galloped out strong."

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Coffee Bar, who tuned up for the Toronto Cup with a five-furlong breeze of 59.60 seconds on the turf training course here last Sunday.

Rounding out the field will be Me the Sea and G T, who won the restricted Bold Ruckus over six furlongs on turf here June 10, and Crown Isle, second last time out in the off-the-turf Charlie Barley at a mile and 70 yards.

Belle Valee returning

Belle Valee drew in off the also-eligible list to defeat males as the surprising 7-5 favorite in a 4 1/2-furlong Ontario-sired maiden race here May 18.

Her victims there included Who's Big Daddy, who ended second and has returned to win two straight, including last Saturday's Clarendon.

On Sunday, Belle Valee will be returning from an eight-week absence to make her second career start in the $150,000 Shady Well, a 5 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

"I ended up sending her home for a couple of weeks. There was nothing for her," said Jim Smith, who trains Belle Valee for the Cinnamont Stable of Richard Lister.

"She's worked three times in the meantime, working halfs and galloping out five-eighths. I think she'll be pretty fit. She's pretty happy."

Smith has mapped out a three-stakes campaign for Belle Valle in which the Shady Well would be followed by the Aug. 2 Nandi for Ontario-foaled fillies and the Sept. 7 Muskoka for products of the local yearling sales stakes.

Belle Valee went through the preferred session last fall and was purchased for $15,000.

Tell It As It Is to go in Matron

Tell It As It Is, a 5-year-old mare whom Smith trains for Lister, was nominated to Saturday's Dance Smartly but is slated to make her next appearance in next Sunday's Ontario Matron.

"We need to get a good race into her, to get some confidence back," said Smith, who had sent out Tell It As It Is to finish a distant fourth in the Grade 3 Obeah over 1 1/8 miles of slop on June 20.

"I still don't know how much she likes this main track, but she's been training out here every day. A mile and an eighth or a mile and a quarter is probably better for her, but hopefully there's some speed in there."

The Boy's Ring breezes

The Boy's Ring tuned up for Wednesday's Deputy Minister with a five-furlong breeze in 59.80 seconds on the main track here Thursday.

Chantal Sutherland, who has piloted The Boy's Ring to a first-out win in a restricted five-furlong maiden race and a solid second-place finish in the Bold Ruckus in his two starts to date, was aboard for Thursday's bullet workout.

Paul Buttiegieg, who owns and trains The Boy's Ring, had entered the gelding in a restricted first-level allowance here July 1 but elected to scratch.

"He takes too much out of himself when he runs," said Buttiegieg. "He likes to run fresh better, I think."

Lady Attack claims stakes win

Lady Attack, making her third start for trainer Josie Carroll, became a stakes winner here Wednesday evening in the $105,450 Repercussion, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.

"I rarely run them back so quick but she came out of her last race so well, and this looked like a good spot for her," said Carroll.

A Kentucky-bred 5-year-old owned by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Lady Attack was making her third start for Carroll and coming off a second-level allowance win over 1 1/16 miles of turf here June 27.

In her local debut, Lady Attack finished second behind the talented 3-year-old Lady Shakespeare in a similar event over 1 1/8 miles on turf here June 6.

"I really don't think a mile and an eighth is her game," said Carroll, who also had nominated Lady Attack to Saturday's Dance Smartly at that distance. "I think seven furlongs to a mile will probably be her best distances.

"On Wednesday there was speed in front of her, and I thought she could get up at six and a half."

The Repercussion was designed as a prep for the Grade 3, $150,000 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares here Aug. 1 which is not on Lady Attack's schedule.

"She's had three races in a row very quickly," said Carroll. "Ideally, she'll have four or five weeks off."

* Apprentice jockey Beth Wyard will be out for two to three weeks after suffering torn ligaments in her left ankle on Wednesday when her mount reared up and dropped her during training hours.

Wyard, 23, switched agents recently and is represented by Anthony Esposito.