12/07/2007 12:00AM

Pellegrino set to deliver in Valedictory

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Pellegrino will try to build on his Nov. 16 allowance score at 1 1/2 miles in Sunday's 1 3/4-mile Valedictory Stakes, the $125,000 feature on closing day of the Woodbine meeting. Post time for the first of 13 races is 12:40 p.m.

Pellegrino, an esteemed 8-year-old trained by Roger Attfield, won the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup in 2004. He has run hot and cold this year - winning twice, notably the 1 1/2-mile Singspiel Stakes on turf in June.

Pellegrino won the allowance prep for the Valedictory with ease on the Polytrack.

"I thought he'd run well," said Attfield. "He had a ball out there. He really enjoyed the going, and when that's the case, he's very tough. When he's run on a turf course which is patchy, he doesn't like it and [protects] himself. I guess that's why he's lasted this long."

Attfield said Pellegrino abhorred the loose Polytrack, which yielded plenty of kickback, when he bombed in last year's Valedictory. It's a dud he blames on the track that day.

"Horrible," Attfield recalled. "It took me two months to get the body soreness out of the horse after the race last year. I thought I wouldn't be running [Sunday] because of the way the track was last year, but it's stayed very good this year."

Other Valedictory contenders are Torquay, Love Dubai, and Encinas.

Torquay, a bargain $12,500 claim two years ago by owner-trainer Nick DeToro, has won 3 of his last 4 outings, all under jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva.

Torquay won a 1 1/4-mile allowance Aug. 26, and is coming off a third-level allowance triumph going 1 1/16 miles.

"He's gotten better and better," said Da Silva. "I'm very positive that he will like this distance."

Da Silva believes the key to success for Torquay is spacing his races out. "He likes to run fresh," Da Silva said. "He's not a horse who can run back too quick."

Kentucky shipper Love Dubai has three career victories, all on Polytrack in England.

Love Dubai is winless in seven North American starts, most on the turf. He might thrive over an extended distance, according to his owner, Equirace.com president Ron Peltz.

"When the jockeys get off after a race, they say he needs to go farther," said Peltz.

Encinas, based at Belmont Park, is a German-bred turf expert with no experience over synthetic surfaces.