12/06/2004 12:00AM

Millfleet in two-turn debut


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Millfleet will try to make his first start around two turns a success Wednesday night at Woodbine in the $126,375 Sir Barton Stakes.

A 1 1/16-mile event for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, the Sir Barton was originally scheduled for Saturday but was canceled along with the final five races on the card because of inclement weather.

According to trainer Hugo Dittfach, Millfleet had chronic shin problems before overcoming them early in the summer.

Millfleet captured his first stakes, the seven-furlong Deputy Minister, by five lengths with a 94 Beyer Figure on Oct. 20. Just 11 days later, he tested older Ontario-sired opposition over yielding turf in the Bunty Lawless Stakes, and prevailed after a less-than-ideal outside pace-pressing trip.

Millfleet ran another strong race last out Nov. 13, finishing a late-running third behind reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Wando and Twisted Wit in the seven-furlong Mt. Sassafras Stakes.

Dittfach said he is confident that Millfleet will handle a two-turn distance, because Millfleet was so impressive in his Bunty Lawless win.

"He ran well going a mile in that race," Dittfach said. "He was in the thick of it the whole way; he was right up with the leaders and never gave in. I really believe I've got a good shot with him."

Jill Scharfstein retains the mount on Millfleet, who has won 3 of 12 starts for earnings of $249,580.

There were just four other nominees to the Sir Barton, and all four are running.

Just in Case Jimmy, a late bloomer trained by Roger Attfield, was fourth in both the Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes before landing the Sept. 5 Elgin Stakes. Most recently, he was fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths, in the Oct. 10 Ontario Derby.

Trainer Mark Casse entered Arch Hall, who won an Ontario-sired allowance by 4 1/4 lengths Nov. 4.

Casse lost Kent Ridge via the claim box for $40,000 in October to trainer Sid Attard, who sent Kent Ridge out to win a seven-furlong allowance Nov. 5.

Heading into the final week of the meeting, Attard is tied with Bob Tiller atop the Woodbine trainer standings. Both have 67 wins.

Cabriolass, claimed for a bargain $25,000 on Oct. 10, defeated $40,000 nonwinners-of-two opposition two weeks later for trainer Ken Parsley. He subsequently ran second to Kent Ridge over a sloppy track.