09/26/2004 11:00PM

Proven night owls back for more


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Exceptionally and El Tara, who each have won on a Wednesday night, are among a field of seven in Wednesday's Woodbine headliner, a $25,000 optional claimer for nonwinners of three.

Exceptionally has had a productive meeting for Kinghaven Farm and trainer Roger Attfield, winning 2 of 8 outings and earning $74,781. She graduated without a claiming tag in a $32,000 optional maiden race in June, winning by 5 1/2 lengths over a next-out winner.

After a failed turf experiment, Exceptionally won a $25,000 optional claimer for nonwinners of two on the Aug. 18 Wednesday night program. Ten days ago, she finished third after cutting out the early fractions in a $62,500 optional claimer, and is getting some class relief here.

Richard Dos Ramos gets the call.

El Tara defeated $16,000 maidens when she debuted in July, and then doubled up on a Wednesday night, in a seven-furlong allowance for Ontario-sired runners Aug. 11.

Most recently, in her first try at a route distance in the restricted Eternal Search Stakes, El Tara cut loose on the lead and set slow fractions before fading in the final furlong. She ended up third behind the two favorites, My Vintage Port and Bay Sweetie Babe.

Jim McAleney retains the mount on El Tara, a Knob Hill Stable homebred trained by Alec Fehr.

Awesome Touch is another possibility in Wednesday's 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.

Trained by Danny Vella for Stronach Stable, Awesome Touch has hit the board in all three of her starts this year. She won a first-level allowance at Laurel in January, then went on hiatus until she finished third against $32,000 opposition here July 7.

Last time out, under conditions identical to Wednesday's race, Awesome Touch helped set a sleepy pace before finishing second as the 3-5 favorite. She's returning from a seven-week freshening on Wednesday, and leading rider Todd Kabel is sticking with her.

La Salle Glory is the X factor in her first attempt at a route distance. She earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure in this field (84), winning a six-furlong allowance on the main track July 17.

La Salle Glory ran fourth and seventh in her last two starts, in $62,500 optional claimer company on the turf.

Late-running Empress of Sheba was fourth in Exceptionally's Aug. 18 victory. She came from far back on the grass to win her most recent race, in a $40,000 claimer for nonwinners of two.