05/24/2007 11:00PM

No clear favorite in Connaught


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The two most accomplished male grass runners at Woodbine, Sky Conqueror and Jambalaya, both passed up Sunday's $150,000 Connaught Cup, leaving the 1 1/16-mile event up for grabs.

Trainer Roger Attfield entered Eccentric and Pellegrino, but said he might scratch one of them from the Grade 3 stakes.

Eccentric was returning from a vacation when third in his lone North American turf start last October, an optional claimer won by Sky Conqueror. He subsequently won the Grade 3 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland.

"His first race for me off the long layoff was pretty good," Attfield said. "He needed that race, which is why I went to Keeneland with a lot of confidence, thinking that he'd win because he's a Polytrack expert."

Pellegrino, victorious in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup in 2004, was out of the money in two starts at Keeneland in April.

Raw Power could make some noise in the Connaught, even though he has never won a stakes. He spent the winter at the Fair Grounds, where he was beaten by just over a length in two stakes.

Raw Power showed his ability to run well when fresh when he took his 2006 seasonal debut after a seven-month layoff.

"He's been breezing well," trainer Barb Minshall said. "We're hoping for a decent run from him. He's got a good turn of foot and if he gets to run his type of race, then he's good to go."

Trainer Malcolm Pierce, who had three nominees, entered Idle Rumor.

Idle Rumor is seeking his fourth consecutive victory. He narrowly won each of his three winter outings over the Fair Grounds turf, in a second-level allowance, a $50,000 claimer, and a third-level allowance.

"He's had a few little problems, but he really got good over the winter," Pierce said.

Idle Rumor finished second to Raw Power last June, the only time he competed over Woodbine's turf course.

Are You Serious, who brings solid Polytrack form into the race, is coming off a heartbreaking loss in the seven-furlong Vigil Stakes. He was beaten by 4 3/4 lengths the only time he tried the grass, in a six-furlong optional claimer in October 2005.

Trainer Bob Tiller said the turf is a question mark for Are You Serious, but he has no qualms with running the gelding over a route of ground.

"I think he'll go long," Tiller said. "I don't know about the grass, but he didn't really run all that bad when he tried it, and it was sprinting."