04/09/2003 11:00PM

'Feville' gets vote of confidence


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mille Feville may appear to be up against it as she makes her first stakes appearance at Woodbine in Saturday's Whimsical.

But Roger Attfield, who trains the 4-year-old Mille Feville for Haras Santa Maria de Araras, is confident in her ability and that may be recommendation enough.

Mille Feville, a Kentucky-bred filly, saw action three times here as a 2-year-old, finishing second in her first appearance and then registering back-to-back victories over maiden special weight and first-level allowance company.

Attfield thought enough of Mille Feville to run her in the Tropical Park Oaks on New Year's Day 2002 but she finished last of eight in that 1 1/16-mile off-the-turf race and she did not resurface for more than a year.

"She had a number of little problems that just needed a lot of time, and so we gave it to her," said Attfield, who is dividing his time between Payson Park and Keeneland. "She had a long rest and, touch wood, everything is in great shape with her right now."

Mille Feville trained through the winter in Florida and then shipped north, making her long-awaited return a winning one in a second-level allowance here March 23. She scored by 3 3/4 lengths at five furlongs, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 92.

"I would have been very surprised if they had beaten her, the way she had been training," said Attfield.

When asked whether he believes Mille Feville is ready for Saturday's step up in company, Attfield offers an unequivocal answer.

"Yes, I do," he said. "I definitely do."

Mazengah will get stakes shot

Attfield also is very high on Mazengah, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old who is in Florida but is scheduled to run here in next Saturday's six-furlong Woodstock Stakes.

The Woodstock, a $125,000 open race for 3-year-olds, also is the target of Wando, who ran second as the odds-on choice when he opened his campaign in the six-furlong Achievement. Wando worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 under jockey Todd Kabel here Thursday.

Mazengah, owned by Legacy Thoroughbred, finished sixth in his only start here last July 14 but went on to train very well and was highly regarded by Attfield when he resurfaced at Gulfstream this winter.

In his first start there Feb. 15, Mazengah finished second behind Quick Draw, who won the Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park in his next start.

Three weeks later, when graduation seemed imminent, Mazengah again had to settle for second when the first-time starter Grand Hombre sizzled to victory in 1:08.66.

"It was interesting," said Attfield, "because he's a horse that I thought would win for sure, and two races in a row he ran big races but got beaten by something out of the blue. But his last race he was very impressive."

That last race came March 29, when Mazengah shook his Gulfstream jinx with a 2 1/2-length score that produced a Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

"He's a very nice horse; I like him a lot," Attfield said. "I'm looking forward to seeing this horse go two turns, actually, but we'll stay where we are right at the moment."

Whiskey Sez shows promise

Attfield unveiled a potential Queen's Plate candidate here last Saturday in Whiskey Sez, who won his maiden in front-running fashion with a six-furlong clocking of 1:09.15 on fast going.

Whiskey Sez, owned by Kinghaven Farm, started twice last year, finishing fifth at five furlongs and sixth at 1 1/16 miles.

"I've always thought he was the best horse I had last year," said Attfield. "We went off half-cocked with him in both his races. He had been sick, and we came back too soon. He never showed us anything because we weren't doing anything right by him.

"But he ran like a nice horse the other day, and fortunately he came out of it okay. We've just got to put a plan together on him. I don't see any reason why he wouldn't go long, but only time's going to tell that. Obviously, he's very fast."

Television coverage finalized

Rogers Sportsnet and Headline Sports (aka The Score) are scheduled to present 76 Thoroughbred racing telecasts here during the 2003 season, the Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Thursday. Sportsnet will carry 54 telecasts: 46 Woodbine Post Time productions and eight stakes specials.

The Woodbine Post Time shows, which are 1 1/2 to two hours in length, include live coverage of three or four races. The first airing is set for April 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The first Sportsnet stakes special will be the May 31 Plate Trial, with the one-hour show beginning at 4 p.m. The other specials are the Canadian Oaks (June 8), Queen's Plate (June 22), Breeders' Stakes (Aug. 9), Atto Mile (Sept. 14), Grey (Oct. 5), Canadian International (Oct. 19), and a Coronation Futurity/Maple Leaf combo (Nov. 1).