02/25/2011 12:39PM

Canadian Turf a favorable spot for Society's Chairman

Barbara D. Livingston
Society's Chairman, now 8, makes his first start since the BC Mile on Sunday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Society’s Chairman, who earned himself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile after nearly upsetting champion turf horse Gio Ponti in the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile last fall at Keeneland, will find the opposition a bit easier when he kicks off his 2011 campaign Sunday at Gulfstream Park in the $150,000 Canadian Turf. The Grade 3 Canadian will be decided at one mile over the outer turf course.

Society’s Chairman turned 8 this year but certainly seems to be improving with age. Aside from his big effort in the Shadwell Mile, Society’s Chairman also won the Grade 3 Appleton in his only previous try over the Gulfstream turf course and finished third in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile earlier in 2010. He ended the year finishing ninth behind Goldikova in the BC Mile.

“He’s 8 now but didn’t start his career until 5, so he really hasn’t run all that much,” said Roger Attfield, who trains Society’s Chairman for the partnership of Charles Fipke and George Waud. “I don’t think the turf on Breeders’ Cup Day was to his liking, he really doesn’t like too much give in the ground. He also seems to prefer turf courses configured like the ones at Gulfstream and Keeneland to the big tracks like Woodbine.”

The fact that the Canadian field is loaded with speed also should enhance Society’s Charman’s chances Sunday.

“The horse is doing very well,” Attfield said. “I’m very pleased with him at the moment. A good pace certainly won’t hurt, considering his running style, and he’s already won over the course.”

The majority of the early pace in the Canadian figures to come from a couple of Grade 3 winners, Little Mike and Yankee Fourtune. Both have had the majority of their success on the lead, although each has shown that they are capable of winning from off the pace in the past.

Little Mike led throughout before outlasting Blues Street to win the Grade 3 Fort Lauderdale over 1 1/16 miles here Jan. 9. However, he could not carry his speed an additional sixteenth of a mile when fading to sixth after leading past the eighth pole in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap four weeks later. Little Mike was transferred from trainer Allen Iwinski to Dale Romans following his victory in the Fort Lauderdale.

Yankee Fourtune has won all five of his career starts on grass, including both the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby and Commonwealth Turf to close out his 3-year-old campaign. He showed a bit of a new dimension when rallying from just behind the leaders to capture the Commonwealth.

Barbaro’s little brother Nicanor also figures to be a pace factor returning for the first time since finishing third in an overnight stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 26.

Twilight Meteor won the 2009 Canadian for trainer Todd Pletcher but did not start again for 20 months before finally resurfacing last fall in Marty Wolfson’s barn. Twilight Meteor also was on the lead throughout when capturing Calder’s Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap to close out his abbreviated 2010 season before opening the current campaign finishing an even fifth in the Gulf Stream Park Turf Handicap.