06/29/2006 11:00PM

Jader gets test to gauge talent


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Roger Attfield has won turf stakes this year with Noble Stella and Pellegrino, both of whom are owned by Gary Tanaka.

Attfield will be looking to make it three of a kind when he sends out Jader for Tanaka in Monday's $300,000 King Edward Breeders' Cup at Woodbine.

Jader, a 4-year-old colt, will be making his first local start in the Grade 2 King Edward, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

"I want to see what kind of horse he is," said Attfield. "This is the only place I can run him; he has no conditions."

Jader won 5 of his first 16 career starts while competing in Italy, but was blanked in three outings in Dubai over the winter, the last two coming over the dirt.

"It's very hard to read into the Italian form and the Dubai form, on dirt and turf," said Attfield.

"I know he's improved since I got him in April. And as far as I'm concerned, training him, he's been a totally better horse on turf than dirt."

Noble Stella may go to Dance Smartly

Meanwhile, Noble Stella is getting a brief respite after her game win in the Grade 2, 1 1/4-mile New York Handicap at Belmont last Saturday.

"She's doing very well," said Attfield. "She's just having an easy time of it for a few days."

Attfield is considering Noble Stella for the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares here July 15. Noble Stella won the Dance Smartly last year.

Pellegrino, meanwhile, disappointed in his first local appearance in last Saturday's Singspiel, finishing a distant fourth in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

"He was really rank in that race," said Attfield. "Maybe it was my fault, putting blinkers on him. We'll see how he trains, and decide where to go from there."

Pellegrino, a 7-year-old horse, had been equipped with blinkers for the first time in his career in the Singspiel after turning in a dull effort in the Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Sky Conquerer joins King Edward field

Due to an oversight, Sky Conqueror was not nominated to the King Edward.

But, thanks to Woodbine's new policy of accepting supplementary nominees for almost all stakes races, Sky Conqueror will be able to compete here Monday at a cost of $6,000, including the $3,000 entry fee.

A 4-year-old colt trained by Darwin Banach, Sky Conqueror closed strongly to finish third in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup over 1 1/16 miles of turf here May 28.

Todd Kabel, who rode Sky Conqueror once here last fall, regains the mount for the King Edward. Kabel won last year's King Edward aboard Silver Ticket.

Beware of Financingavailable

There will be a stakes doubleheader here Sunday comprising the $125,000 My Dear, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.

The Sweet Briar Too, an overnight stakes, attracted a field of just five, including Tamara, who is cross-entered in Sunday's $75,000 Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial Stakes at Fort Erie.

While High Button Shoes will be all the rage in the Sweet Briar Too, the consistent Financingavailable is not one to be taken lightly.

Trained by Lorne Richards, Financingavailable will be making just her second start of the season.

In her season opener, which came in the six-furlong Ballade for Ontario-sired fillies and mares, Financingavailable rallied from just off the pace but fell a head short of catching Bosskiri and finished second.

Financingavailable, a 5-year-old, is undefeated in three career starts over seven furlongs on the main track.

Seductively returns to sprinting

Seductively, the third-place finisher in the Woodbine Oaks, is bypassing the Bison City and heading for the $150,000 Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here next Sunday.

Seductively came up short in the latter stages of the Woodbine Oaks after recording a loose-on-the lead victory in the Grade 3 Selene, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.

"I'm sure we'll try her at two turns again later," said trainer Ian Black. "But, maybe it isn't her greatest forte."

While the Ontario Damsel will be Seductively's first start on the grass, Black is confident she will handle the transition after watching her breeze four furlongs in 48.40 seconds on the turf training course here last Friday.

Getting ready to switch surfaces

Woodbine will be dark for four days following Monday's program and is slated to race on the reconditioned Standardbred track beginning Saturday, July 8.

The seven-furlong Standardbred track will host Thoroughbred racing while Polytrack is installed in place of Woodbine's current main track, a procedure that is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Work on converting the Standardbred track began June 19 and is on schedule, according to Chris Evans, Woodbine's vice president of Thoroughbred racing.

The first stage of the conversion includes the installation of inner and outer rails and scaling down the grades on the turns.

The next major step calls for the cushion of the main track to be moved onto the Standardbred oval, beginning Tuesday.