09/14/2004 11:00PM

Perfect Soul sharp in final Atto work


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Perfect Soul was impressive Wednesday morning in his final major tune-up for the Grade 1, $1 million Atto Mile Sunday at Woodbine.

With assistant trainer Rachel Halden in the irons, Perfect Soul breezed five furlongs in 59.80 seconds, going on his own with the dogs up and the rail out over firm going on Woodbine's expansive E.P. Taylor turf course.

"He's a good work horse when he's right," said Halden. "I was very happy with him. It was a nice, good, sharp work."

Perfect Soul, a 6-year-old horse, finished third in last year's Atto Mile for owner-breeder Charles Fipke and trainer Roger Attfield and became a Grade 1 winner in his next start, capturing the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

But since opening up his current campaign with a victory in the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile on the Keeneland turf course, Perfect Soul has been winless in three outings.

After watching Perfect Soul finish fifth in the 1 3/8-mile Chinese Cultural Centre here July 25, Attfield elected to train him up to the Atto Mile.

Corey Nakatani, who rode Perfect Soul to a close fifth-place finish in last year's 1 1/4-mile Arlington Million, will be aboard in the Atto Mile.

Soaring Free, the probable favorite in the Atto Mile, finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Perfect Soul as the runner-up in last year's edition. A 5-year-old gelding, Soaring Free is owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad. Todd Kabel, the runaway leading rider here in all categories, retains the mount.

Under the allowance conditions of the Atto Mile, Perfect Soul will carry 121 pounds and is co-highweighted with Slew Valley, winner of the Grade 2 King Edward Gold Cup here June 19 under regular rider Jim McAleney.

Soaring Free gets in with 119 pounds.

* Local rider Slade Callaghan will ride Atto Mile outsider Kathir, who is owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk and trained by Todd Pletcher. Callaghan was aboard when Kathir won the March 6 Barbados Gold Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, after being purchased privately in January.

* The ceremonial post position draw for the Atto Mile will be held Friday, beginning at 12 p.m. in the trackside tent. The honorary drawmaster will be Adam van Koeverden, winner of a gold medal and a bronze medal for kayaking in the recent Olympics in Greece.