08/26/2009 12:00AM

Field Commission getting back on turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Field Commission finished a strong second when making his turf debut in the six-furlong Highlander here June 21. But when Field Commission returned to action July 19, he was back on Polytrack for the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture.

Trainer Danny Vella, who owns Field Commission in partnership with Ed Seltzer, also had entered the 4-year-old colt in the July 18 Ontario Jockey Club, a $100,000 overnight stakes for Ontario-foals over seven furlongs of turf.

The Bold Venture, which offered Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000, marked the first start in almost nine months for Fatal Bullet, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year and champion sprinter.

"It was a bigger purse, more prestigious, and I thought Fatal Bullet might be vulnerable," said Vella, who scratched Field Commission from the Ontario Jockey Club. "I made a mistake."

Field Commission did perform respectably in the Bold Venture, finishing four lengths behind the dominant Fatal Bullet as the fourth-place finisher.

"We probably moved a little too early trying to take a run at Fatal Bullet," Vella said. "He used himself being wide, and flattened out just a tad. But he came out of the race great."

On Saturday, Field Commission will return to the turf for the Grade 2, $200,000 Play the King, a seven-furlong race which is the major local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 20.

"We freshened him a little bit; he's in top form," said Vella, who has sent out Field Commission to work well on four consecutive Mondays this month. "He's ready."

Vella has eye on upcoming stakes

Vella also hopes to see action in three stakes over the upcoming long weekend, with Verdana Bold on target for the Seaway, Doctor Jack eyeing the Simcoe, and Cryptonite Kid pointing to the Halton.

Verdana Bold, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly owned by Seltzer, last saw action here in the July 1 Sweet Briar Too, a seven-furlong overnight stakes in which she finished third as the favorite.

"She was pretty congested after her last race," Vella said. "When she came back, she just wasn't herself. We turned her out for a few weeks. She's super now."

Verdana Bold would be seeking her third stakes win in the seven-furlong Seaway, a Grade 3, $150,000 race for fillies and mares on Sept. 5.

The prospective engagements for Doctor Jack and Cryptonite Kid are among the six $125,000 yearling sales stakes on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7.

The Simcoe is a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old colts and geldings, and the Halton a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

Owned by Syd Cooper's R.M.C. Stable, Doctor Jack was a $42,000 buy in Ocala this February but originally had sold through local sale at $28,000.

Doctor Jack has started three times, finishing third in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon before scoring impressively in a five-furlong maiden race last time out.

On Wednesday, Doctor Jack worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 while going in company with unstarted 2-year-old stablemate Sligolicious.

"It was a very solid work," Vella said.

Cryptonite Kid, a 4-year-old colt who races for Class Action Stable, was a $32,000 purchase at the local select yearling sale.

"He's been running well," Vella said. "His last race was a very salty two other than."

Cryptonite Kid was beaten 1 1/2 lengths as the third-place finisher in that seven-furlong turf race here July 31. The winner, Cross Every Bridge, is among the Play the King entrants.

Milwaukee Appeal back to track

Milwaukee Appeal went to the track here Wednesday for the first time since her second-place finish in last Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga.

"It was an absolutely great experience," trainer Scott Fairlie said.

"She handled everything great; she was just second-best."

Milwaukee Appeal was beaten 11 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama by Careless Jewel, a Kentucky-bred who is based here with trainer Josie Carroll.

Fairlie indicated that Milwaukee Appeal's next start would come in either the $250,000 Selene here Sept. 26 or the $750,000 Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 3.

Both the Selene and Cotillion are Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile races for 3-year-old fillies and also are the two spots from which Carroll plans to choose for Careless Jewel.

A winner of her two outings at Woodbine this year, Careless Jewel would need a third Canadian appearance to be eligible for Sovereign Award consideration.

Who's Big Daddy needs surgery

Fairlie also reports that Who's Big Daddy, winner of the Clarendon and nominated to the Simcoe, is on the shelf.

"He breezed the other day and didn't come back too good," he said. "He's going for surgery; he has a little chip in his ankle."

Fairlie is a co-owner and co-breeder of Who's Big Daddy, who also finished a close second in the Colin and has banked $172,900 from five starts.

Attfield stakes runners work

Trainer Roger Attfield sent out Lady Shakespeare, Midnight Mischief, and Sand Cove to breeze four furlongs here Wednesday in preparation for upcoming stakes.

Lady Shakespeare, with regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons, was tuning up for Sunday' $150,000 Ontario Colleen.

"She never does much on her own," said Attfield, who generally works Lady Shakespeare in company. "But she's in good shape."

Lady Shakespeare, a Kentucky-bred, will be seeking her fourth straight win in the Ontario Colleen, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Midnight Mischief worked in 48.40 seconds for Attfield and is slated to make his next start in the Grade 2, $350,000 Del Mar Derby, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds on Sept. 6.

"He's doing very well," said Attfield, who watched Midnight Mischief finish a respectable fifth when making his stakes debut in Saratoga's Grade 2 Hall of Fame over 1 1/8 miles of turf on Aug. 14.

Sand Cove was the fastest of the day at the distance while going in 47.20 under regular rider Richard Dos Ramos.

Sand Cove and his stablemate, Society's Chairman, both are nominated to the Halton and to the Elgin, which is the 1 1/16-mile main-track yearling sales stakes for colts and geldings, 3 and up.