Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

El Soprano looms large in Saucer


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - El Soprano, a huge Stronach Stable colt with lots of potential, should be a short price in Saturday's $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds at Woodbine.

El Soprano finished third in his debut on the main track behind Rare Friends, who has won all three of his subsequent outings in stakes. Trainer Kevin Attard moved El Soprano to the grass Aug. 25 for a seven-furlong furlong maiden special, in which he closed down the center of the course to win by a neck.

El Soprano overcame a rough trip to win his most recent start in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes, a one-mile grass race that came up very tough. He encountered traffic problems heading into the turn and was checked by jockey Gary Stevens, but then rallied wide and overhauled New York shipper Miesque's Approval in the final strides.

"We had a rough trip," Stevens said. "A horse stopped in front of us heading into the turn, and we clipped heels with him. I swung him to the outside coming into the stretch, and he accelerated really nicely. He's a very talented colt. He still has a lot of learning to do."

According to Attard, El Soprano has had unrecorded five-furlong workouts on each of the last two Saturdays on the turf course at Adena Springs North Farm.

"He went in 1:01 last Saturday, and in 1:00.60 the week before," Attard said. "Robert Landry worked him last Saturday, and was happy with the way he went. I've been working him with some company. He's the kind of horse who just does what he needs to do in the mornings, and when he has somebody to go with, he works a lot better."

Landry, who was on board for El Soprano's maiden win, has the mount.

Rounding out the field are Classic Runaway, Rare Deputy, Classic Case, Mighty Quinn, Atlantic Fury, and First Class Honors.

Sam-Son Farm, which has won the Cup and Saucer an astounding 12 times, sends out the entry of first-time starter Atlantic Fury and First Class Honors, who recently graduated on the grass. Mark Frostad trains the entry.

Mighty Quinn, second to Rare Friends last time out in the seven-furlong Simcoe Stakes, is making his first start on the grass for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Co-owner Jeff Begg feels Mighty Quinn, a grandson of Cure the Blues, has a license to enjoy the grass. "He's worked well on the turf," Begg noted. "Cure the Blues has sired some exceptional turf runners."