08/02/2010 3:54PM

Miss Keller is latest from Attfield to invade New York

Barbara D. Livingston
Miss Keller drew post 10 for the De La Rose.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With two New York stakes victories under his belt already this year, the Canadian-based trainer Roger Attfield will go for a hat trick of sorts when he ships Miss Keller to Saratoga for Wednesday’s $70,000 De La Rose Stakes.

Attfield has won the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont with Lady Shakespeare and the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes here with Fantastic Shirl. The De La Rose is an overnight stakes scheduled for one mile on the inner turf.

Miss Keller, who drew post 10, enters the De La Rose off two solid efforts in graded stakes company. On Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill, she finished third behind Phola and Hot Cha Cha in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile. On June 5, at Woodbine, she finished a late-running second to Simply Splendid in the Grade 2 Nassau.

Attfield said his filly had no excuse in the Nassau. He is hoping to get a similar – if not faster – pace than she got that day. Also, Miss Keller would appreciate a little give in the ground that forecasted showers might provide.

“She wouldn’t mind that a little bit,” Attfield said. ”She always appears to want to run at horses. My main concern would be the post position. The outside post on the inner turf course can be tricky.”

With Miss Keller stuck on the outside and with Silver Reunion and Miss Catalyst coming off lengthy layoffs, the horse to beat may be Keertana. Though fifth in the Grade 3 Locust Grove, she was beaten only one-half length despite being four to five wide on both turns.

“I’d like to know the percentage of horses that win on turf without ever seeing the fence,” said trainer Tom Proctor, who has won with 3 of his first 7 starters at the meet.

Silver Reunion, who won the Riskaverse Stakes in her turf debut last summer, has not been out since last Oct. 23 when she finished eighth of nine as the favorite in the Grade 3 Valley View. Trainer Graham Motion said Silver Reunion may be a workout short of firing her best effort.

Miss Catalyst, who has not run since taking the Pebbles Stakes last Oct. 12, may need this race, according to trainer Todd Pletcher. She was entered in a third-level allowance at Belmont on July 16, but didn’t get to run when that card got canceled because of extreme heat.

Daveron could be a factor for trainer Christophe Clement if allowed to settle and make one run.