08/24/2009 12:00AM

Marchfield finds a home on the turf

Michael Burns
Marchfield, ridden by Patrick Husbands, wins Sunday's Sky Classic.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Marchfield was Canada's champion older male last year on the strength of his Polytrack successes. But it certainly didn't take long for Marchfield to establish serious credentials going long on the turf, as he followed up a second-place finish in the 1 1/4-mile Nijinsky with a game win under Patrick Husbands in Sunday's 1 3/8-mile .

Marchfield, a 5-year-old homebred who races for Eugene and Laura Melnyk, started his 2009 meeting here at Woodbine with a second in the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles and then won the Grade 2 Dominion Day over 1 1/4 miles on the main track.

"I think the key to him is just the distance. The surface doesn't seem to be a factor," said Casse, who had sent out Marchfield to win the Breeders' over 1 1/2 miles of turf as a 3-year-old. "I think he probably doesn't care too much for soft turf, but he wins on it anyway."

The going was classified as good for the Sky Classic after being soft for the Nijinsky, in which Marchfield was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Rahy's Attorney.

The Grade 1 Canadian International, a $2 million race over 1 1/2 miles of turf here Oct. 17, is Marchfield's ultimate goal.

His next stop on the road should be the Grade 1, $750,000 Northern Dancer over the same distance and surface here Sept. 20.

Great day all around for Casse

Marchfield was one of three winners on the day for Casse, who earlier had sent out Flim Flam to win second time out in an Ontario-sired maiden race at six furlongs and scored with Jelly Roll in a first-level allowance over 1 1/8 miles of turf in the race following the Sky Classic.

Flim Flam, ridden by Patrick Husbands, was 14-1 while Jelly Roll, with Corey Fraser in the irons, paid off at 10-1.

Casse also sent out Medjool to finish third in the Sky Classic, Dance to My Tune to end fourth in the $100,000 Belle Geste, and Palmers to run second and be claimed for $40,000.

"I hadn't had one of those days in a while," said Casse. "I had some good days, but I have to put this one as 'great.'

"Everybody I ran a horse for was happy."

Flim Flam, a $20,000 buy in Ocala, Fla., this past April, originally had sold for $9,000 in the local yearling sale and is nominated to the Simcoe, the seven-furlong race for 2-year-old colts and geldings which will be one of six $125,000 yearling sales stakes here Sept. 7.

"I was impressed by his race," said Casse. "Not too many 2-year-olds can run around horses like that and win."

Jelly Roll, a 4-year-old filly, was making her first appearance for Casse with her last start having come at Calder on May 3 for trainer Martin Wolfson.

No excuses for Rahy's Attorney

While the Marchfield connections celebrated, trainer Ian Black was perplexed after watching Rahy's Attorney, the 8-5 favorite in the $277,075 Sky Classic, falter to end sixth in the field of eight under rider Slade Callaghan.

Earlier in the afternoon, Black had looked on as Glitter Rox finished last of five in the $100,000 Belle Geste after being boxed in through the final three furlongs under jockey Gerry Olguin.

Rahy's Attorney, who has been on course designed to have him at his peak for a defense of his title in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 20, had seemed to be in a good stalking position behind the front-running Marlang on the final turn but failed to respond when called upon by regular rider Slade Callaghan.

"He was beaten a long way from home," said Black. "When Slade went to Marlang, he couldn't get by him."

Rahy's Attorney seemed fine physically on Monday morning, leaving Black none the wiser.

"There's nothing visibly wrong with him," said Black. "He didn't bleed, there was no mucus.

"I've only been running him once a month but he was coming off three very, very high career numbers. I don't know whether he's had a little letdown."

Glitter Rox had rallied to upset the Royal North in her seasonal debut but never had a chance when hemmed in by Dance to My Tune and Patrick Husbands in the Belle Geste.

"That's good race riding, I guess," said Black.

Glitter Rox was beaten a total of 1 1/2 lengths for the win and a neck for fourth money by Dance to My Tune in the Belle Geste, a seven-furlong overnight turf stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares.

The 5-year-old Glitter Rox could get an opportunity to make amends in the $100,000 Avowal, an open seven-furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares here Oct. 3.

Avowal next for Hello Maggie May

Hello Maggie May also is headed for the Avowal after notching her first turf stakes score in the Belle Geste.

Trained by Roger Attfield, Hello Maggie May had won the Ruling Angel over 6 1/2 furlongs of Polytrack here last fall.

"She's been sitting on getting lucky somewhere along the line," said Attfield. "Twice now she's been in where she could have won, and she got stopped both times."

Hello Maggie May, under rider Chantal Sutherland, had clear sailing this time and was up to score by a hard-fought half-length over Mullins Beach with the favored Saskawea another neck back in third.

Double Malt will point for La Prevoyante

Double Malt won her second consecutive stakes race here last Saturday, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths in the $125,000

over 1 1/16 miles.

"She ran in good time, and she did it right," said Malcolm Pierce, who trains Double Malt. "Obviously, an Ontario-sired spot is the right place for her to be."

Double Malt now has won three stakes for Ontario-sired fillies, having captured the South Ocean at 1 1/16 miles here last fall and the Passing Mood over seven furlongs of turf in her start prior to the Eternal Search.

Pierce now will aim Double Malt for the $125,000 La Prevoyante for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies over one mile of turf here Sept. 12.