Updated on 09/15/2011 2:00PM

Drysdale's always dangerous

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Michael Burns
Irish Prize, trained by Neil Drysdale, is one of the favorites among 14 Atto Mile entrants.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - No trainer has sent out more live runners in the short history of the Atto Mile than Neil Drysdale.

Drysdale won the 1998 Mile with Labeeb, and an errant whip cost him the victory in 1999, when the hard-luck Hawksley Hill was disqualified from first and placed fourth.

Drysdale will saddle Irish Prize, one of the favorites in Sunday's fifth running of the Grade 1 turf race at Woodbine. A field of 14 will divvy up a

$1 million purse in the race, which is one of three stakes on the quality card, along with the Summer and Canadian.

California-based Irish Prize has blossomed into one of the continent's top milers, with four wins in five starts this year. He began his campaign with a win over Manndar in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap, and has captured three consecutive graded stakes since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 San Francisco Handicap.

Irish Prize's biggest score came in the Grade 1 Shoemaker BC Mile at Hollywood Park in May.

Drysdale said Irish Prize wasn't comfortable running over the sand-based Churchill turf in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap, even though he won the July 4 race.

"He had a bit of trouble with the sandy course there and still won," Drysdale explained. "[Gary Stevens] said he wasn't handling it very well."

Irish Prize was entered and scratched from the July 28 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar. "We decided not to run him because we didn't think he was at his best," Drysdale said.

New York invader Affirmed Success could vie for favoritism under Jerry Bailey. Affirmed Success closed for third in the 2000 Mile, which was in contrast to his usual pace-pressing trip.

At age 7, Affirmed Success is unbeaten in two starts this year, but hasn't raced since he won the Grade 3 Poker Handicap at Belmont for the second year in a row July 4.

"This horse runs so well fresh," said trainer Richard Schosberg. "There wasn't an ideal race for him between the Poker and the Atto Mile. He got a lot out of the Poker."

Brahms encountered traffic problems before he rallied to finish a half-length back of Irish Prize in third in the Shoemaker. He hasn't run since he was third on the main track June 16 in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill.

Trainer Elliott Walden said Brahms has been pointed towards the Mile ever since the Grade 2 Foster.

"He's been a little unlucky," Walden noted. "With that long stretch, Woodbine's a good place not to get in trouble."

Slew Valley has been competitive in longer graded races in New York this summer for trainer Michael Dickinson, who won the 1996 BC Mile here with Da Hoss.

"He was immature, but he's really coming around," said Dickinson. "He's gaining more confidence and more speed."

City West was recently second in a Saratoga allowance, and was third behind Irish Prize in the Grade 3 Fastness Handicap in May.

The local horses seem overmatched, but one of them could fill out the superfecta.

Quiet Resolve, the 2000 Canadian Horse of the Year, was placed first in the 1999 Mile after Hawksley Hill was disqualified because his rider's whip struck another rival.

Quiet Resolve, who got bogged down running over yielding ground last out in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, has just one win in his five seasonal outings.

Wake at Noon should ensure a quick pace in his grass debut, since he dueled through a half-mile in 44 seconds before fading to fourth in the Grade 1 Forego last Saturday at Saratoga.

Kimberlite Pipe could add some fuel to the pace fire, while Numerous Times is unbeaten in five starts, but has never run in a stakes.