06/16/2004 11:00PM

Perfect Soul put on hold again

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Perfect Soul, who had been gearing up for a clash with Wando in Saturday's King Edward Breeders' Cup, was not among the entrants Thursday morning.

"He was going to run," said Roger Attfield, who trains Perfect Soul. "But he was acting a little quieter than usual, and, bingo, he's coughing this morning."

Attfield said the cough has been spreading steadily through his barn in recent days.

"I've been sweating it out all week," said Attfield. "Every day we came in here, there was a new one coughing."

The setback was the second for Perfect Soul, Canada's reigning male turf champion, since he returned to Woodbine this spring.

After beginning his campaign with a victory in the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland, Perfect Soul finished well back in Churchill's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic over yielding going, which he did not handle.

Attfield had planned to use the May 30 Connaught Cup as the next step in Perfect Soul's campaign, but Perfect Soul was not even nominated to the race after suffering a bruised foot.

That led to Perfect Soul missing several days of training and undergoing a battery of tests before he was given a clean bill of health and started preparing for the King Edward.

The next stakes opportunity for the older male turf division here is the Grade 3, $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre, a 1 3/8-mile race July 25.

Nashinda still sidelined

Nashinda also was sidelined on the eve of a major recent assignment here, after suffering a bruised foot while galloping the day before entries were taken for last Sunday's Labatt Woodbine Oaks.

As of Thursday morning, Mac Benson, who trains Nashinda for the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge Jr., had seen little change in her condition.

"It's an abscess or a bruise that has to work its way out," said Benson. "It hasn't come to a head, as far as I can see."

Benson said X-rays were taken, and both local veterinarian Lea Guitard and consulting Kentucky-based vet Larry Bramlage agreed that there seemed to be no serious damage.

"It's nothing like a break, or anything like that," said Benson, who has nominated Nashinda to the $100,000 Hill 'n' Dale, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies here July 3.

"Once this thing breaks and clears up, you can get a pad on her and go right on."

Niigon work pleases Coatrieux

Niigon, one of two Queen's Plate hopefuls owned by Chiefswood Stable and trained by Eric Coatrieux, worked six furlongs at his home base Thursday morning. Regular rider Robert Landry was aboard for the drill.

"That was nice," said Coatrieux, adding that he clocked Niigon in approximately 1:13.80.

Niigon and his Plate-bound stablemate, Alleged Ruler, are housed at nearby Chiefswood Farm, where they do the bulk of their training. Both will ship in to Woodbine on Plate Day.

Coatrieux occasionally varies the pattern and did send Niigon here to work six furlongs 10 days before his second-place finish in the Plate Trial.

Coatrieux is following a similar blueprint with Alleged Ruler, who has not been to Woodbine since winning his maiden over 1 1/16 miles May 29, but is scheduled to work six furlongs before the first race Sunday.

Slade Callaghan, who has picked up the mount on Alleged Ruler for the June 27 Plate, will be in the irons.

McAleney to ride Night Sky

Another Queen's Plate riding assignment was finalized Thursday, as Jim McAleney has been given the call aboard Night Sky, who is owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Danny Vella.

Dashing Admiral wins stakes debut

Dashing Admiral ($4.20) overcame traffic problems in the stretch to win his stakes debut Wednesday night at Woodbine in the $133,125 Bold Ruckus, for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Dashing Admiral stalked the pace on the inside in the six-furlong turf dash, as Imperial Alydeed set fractions of 22.62 seconds and 45.60. Dashing Admiral was blocked in midstretch while along the rail and had to be steadied by Todd Kabel, but he kicked in nicely in the final furlong after finding room and prevailed by three lengths.

Archers Bow rallied from eighth and last to edge Imperial Alydeed by a head for second. The final time over a course rated good was 1:09.33.

Trainer Sid Attard said he wasn't surprised by the turf prowess exhibited by Dashing Admiral, who was making his first start on the grass.

"He worked so good on the grass [May 30]," Attard said. "He went [five-eighths] in 58.80, and galloped out strong. We really liked him. He's been coming up with shin problems all the time, but if you give him time and work on him, he's fine."

Dashing Admiral, who is unbeaten in three starts, earned $79,875 for owners John and Jessica Pastorek.

Family Fun Day at the track

Saturday will be "Family Fun Day" at Woodbine, an annual event that benefits the Community Association for Riding for the Disabled.

Woodbine main track workouts will be open to the public Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with Jennifer Morrison and Sandy Hawley providing commentary.

Tickets can be purchased from the customer service outlet at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for children. Breakfast is included and stable area tours will be available afterward.

On the frontside, free entertainment will be offered from 12 p.m. through 5 p.m. Activities include pony rides, inflatable rides, face painting, children's shows, crafts, and a petting zoo.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink