10/21/2010 3:52PM

Little to separate Rahy's Attorney and Sand Cove

Michael Burns
Rahy's Attorney holds on to win the With Approval

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Election Day is Monday in Toronto, and polls have shown a virtual dead heat in the hotly contested mayor’s race between the Woodbine-friendly Rob Ford and George Smitherman. Saturday’s $125,000 Bunty Lawless Stakes is also shaping up as a tight race, between Rahy’s Attorney and Sand Cove, and Rahy’s Attorney may have a slight edge in the one-mile turf route for Ontario-sired runners.

Rahy’s Attorney enjoyed a career year in 2008, during which he won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and the Sovereign Award for champion male grass horse. He defeated Sand Cove over soft ground while taking last year’s Bunty Lawless convincingly.

Rahy’s Attorney’s lone win in seven starts this year came in the restricted With Approval Stakes on Aug. 14. He’s coming off a second in the $250,000 PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing. He attended a pedestrian pace before taking control, only to give way late to Violon Sacre, who came back last weekend to win the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park.

Trainer Ian Black said he was content with Rahy’s Attorney’s last effort, which came under jockey Stewart Elliot.

“I told Stewart Elliot that it looked like we were the only speed in the race,” said Black. “I said that he can go a half in 48, and still finish for you. When they went that slow, everybody had horse [left], and one ran us down.”

Rahy’s Attorney is being reunited with Slade Callaghan, who rode him in the ’08 Woodbine Mile.

Sand Cove has won three stakes in seven outings this year under the guidance of trainer Roger Attfield. Overall, the 5-year-old has registered 10 wins in 30 starts, which is similar to Rahy’s Attorney’s 11-for-33 record.

Last time out, Sand Cove won the seven-furlong Overskate Stakes, which followed a subpar showing as the heavy favorite in another restricted stakes, the 1 1/16-mile Elgin.

“He doesn’t very often throw a bad one,” Attfield said. “He came out of [the Elgin] with a little virus, so we gave him a little time off at the farm. We brought him back in, and he ran a big one.”

Attfield said he’s looking forward to putting Sand Cove back on the grass, over which he’s a two-time winner. “Absolutely, especially if it’s firm,” he said.

Only three others were entered, including Guipago, who upset Society’s Chairman while capturing the Sept. 6 Halton Stakes from off the pace.