10/18/2010 11:46AM

Miss Keller still aimed at Breeders' Cup

Michael Burns
Miss Keller (6) runs second to Reggane in the E.P. Taylor

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Miss Keller, one of just two Woodbine-based entrants in the E.P. Taylor, tried her best to hold the fort but wound up a length back as the runner-up to France’s Reggane in Sunday’s Grade 1 filly and mare turf feature.

Miss Keller, trained by Roger Attfield, is owned by Three Chimneys Racing LLC and is headed for the 1 3/8-mile Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs.

“As long as she trains well we’ll be going,” said Attfield. “She broke out of the pack a little earlier than I’d have liked her to, but I was very, very pleased with her race.

Mekong Melody, a second Attfield starter in the Taylor, was contentious for a mile but began to fade under rider Patrick Husbands at the top of the stretch.

“At the top of the hill she was very rank,” said Attfield. “He just couldn’t get her to settle. It was very disappointing,”

Frostad still confident

While the Engish filly Serious Attitude surprised in the Nearctic, the locally based Grand Adventure, Fatal Bullet, and Field Commission filled the second through fourth-place slots.

Grand Adventure rallied up the rail after beginning from post 2 and reached the lead a furlong out before succumbing to Serious Attitude’s late run.

“He ran a big race,” said Mark Frostad, who trains Grand Adventure for Sam-Son Farm.

“His post was a killer. You get behind, and have to wait and wait until something comes open.

“But, he has to be one of the top turf sprinters in North America. I think we’d take a serious look at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.”

Because of the course configuration at Churchill Downs, that race will be run over just five furlongs this year.

Fatal Bullet ended 3 1/4 lengths behind Grand Adventure on a course which was rated “good” but yielded slow clockings that suggested otherwise.

“He was never really comfortable,” said Reade Baker, who trains Fatal Bullet for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion. “I think he can run better than that.

“I’d still like to go to the Breeders’ Cup, but it will be up to Danny.”

Field Commission was beaten a neck by Fatal Bullet in a show photo after being blocked at a critical juncture.

“I don’t think he was going to win the race, but he could have been closer,” said trainer Danny Vella. “Those are tough horses, and with a come-from-behind sprinter you need a good trip. One more jump he’d have been third, and I’d have been real happy.”

Field Commission also is a proven stakes performer on Polytrack and the Nov. 20 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race, is a logical target.

Front-end effort a tough go

Fifty Proof and Simmard were the home team for the Canadian International and wound up fifth and seventh in a race where four lengths separated the first from last finishers in the field of nine.

Fifty Proof, trained by Ian Black, showed the way until deep stretch in the International under Justin Stein, who was the only local rider competing in the race. An Ontario-Fifty Proof sired gelding, gave way in the final furlong but was beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.

“He tried hard. He gave a big effort,” said Black. “It’s very hard to go a mile and a half on the lead.”

Black could look for a spot for Fifty Proof on the road but also pointed out that the $150,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here Dec. 1, could be an option.

Simmard, trained by Attfield, was in the thick of the chase but finished evenly to be beaten three lengths.

“I didn’t realize the turf was playing as soft as it was, but I think he ran his race,” said Attfield. “The whole finish was a swarm.”

Simmard was making just his second start since January, and Attfield is looking forward to continuing his campaign.

“He’ll winter race, for sure,” said Attfield. “There’s a lot of distance racing on the turf in Florida in the winter, and maybe he’ll stop at Churchill on the way down.”