11/17/2011 4:47PM

Calder: Attfield hitting the grounds running

Email
Michael Burns
Oregon Lady, with Patrick Husbands riding, wins the River Memories.

MIAMI – Trainer Roger Attfield has settled into his winter base at Payson Park fresh off his first-ever Breeders’ Cup victory with Perfect Shirl and will waste little time getting into action locally. He plans to send horses down to Calder to run in both the Grade 3 My Charmer on Thanksgiving Day and the Grade 2 W L McKnight that Saturday.

Oregon Lady will look for her second straight stakes win and first graded victory in the My Charmer. A 4-year-old Irish bred, she is coming off the best race of her career, a 4 1/2-length victory in the River Memories Stakes at Woodbine.

“It seems like every time I get her right and close to where she can be competitive in a big race something silly happens,” said Attfield. “She got a cyst in her eye from a clod hitting her in the race at Arlington Park this summer, and it cost her a couple of months. I think she’s a very talented filly if I can ever get to prove it.”

Attfield nominated both his 9-year-old warhorse Musketier and Simmard to the 1 1/2-mile McKnight but at this point is unsure which of the pair will run.

“I just got to Payson yesterday [Wednesday] and they’ve only been here a few days, so we’ll so how they train over the next week before making any decision,” said Attfield. “I might even run them both.”

Musketier and Simmard finished sixth and 13th respectively in the Grade 1 Canadian International, decided over a yielding course at Woodbine on Oct. 16.

“Simmard definitely didn’t handle the ground, it was very, very soft, and the other horse wasn’t super happy on it either,” said Attfield.

Musketier turned in a pair of big efforts last winter at Gulfstream Park, finishing third in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida and second in the Grade 3 Pan American.

Perfect Shirl is also bedded down at Payson with her plans up in the air for the time being.

“She’ll definitely run again next season,” said Attfield. “She’s only just started to come to herself that filly. We may take her to Hong Kong, the owner is swinging that way right now. Although if not it’s my intention to run her at Gulfstream a little bit this winter.”

Attfield said winning his first Breeders’ Cup was definitely one of the special moments in his long and successful career.

“It was just great,” said Attfield. “It’s everybody’s dream to win the big ones. We knocked on the door a few times and if you do that, eventfully something right’s going to work out.”

Oregon Lady is one of a dozen fillies and mares nominated to the 1 1/8-mile My Charmer. Denomination, winner of the Grade 3 Violet and Athenia stakes in her last starts, will be favored to give trainer Christophe Clement his third My Charmer victory. Denomination tuned up for the assignment by working five furlongs in 1:02 at Payson Park on Wednesday.

The My Charmer will highlight Thursday’s special Thanksgiving Day card that begins at 11:00 a.m.

◗ Gulfstream Park’s wagering menu for the 2011-2012 meet will include the introduction of the $1 Super Hi 5 along with the popular 10-cent Rainbow 6 that produced a total pool in excess of $5 million on the next-to-last day of the 2011 session.

The Super Hi 5 will require bettors to select the first five finishers in exact order in the last race on each card. Like the 50-cent pick five introduced last season, the Super Hi 5 will carry a 15-percent takeout.

Gulfstream’s 87 day meet opens on Dec. 3.