07/26/2009 11:00PM

Rahy's Attorney provides pleasant surprise


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Rahy's Attorney continues to amaze.

Winner of the Woodbine Mile and Canada's champion turf male in 2008, Rahy's Attorney is just a head away from being undefeated in three starts this season.

And, judging by his performance here at Woodbine in Sunday's Grade 2, $339,100 Nijinsky, Rahy's Attorney just may have taken his game to a new level.

Circumstances seemed to be conspiring against Rahy's Attorney, who was attempting to successfully negotiate a distance as far as 1 1/4 miles for the first time on a course that had been pounded by heavy rain.

"I was concerned," said Ian Black, who had sent out Rahy's Attorney to finish fourth in last year's Nijinsky. "I know he handled the yielding turf last year, when he won the Woodbine Mile, but this time it was really soft. And, last year he didn't get the mile and a quarter that well. I know he finished second at a mile and a half, but not against the type of horses he was running against here."

Rahy's Attorney's opponents in the Nijinsky included Champs Elysees and Spice Route, both graded stakes winners over 1 1/2 miles of turf, and Marchfield, winner of the Breeders' over that distance here in 2007.

"I thought with the turf the way it was, it would be more like going a mile and three-eighths and it would play into their hands more than mine," said Black.

As it transpired, Rahy's Attorney stalked the pace of French Beret before taking command on the far turn and then opening up under his regular rider, Slade Callaghan.

Although Marchfield made a late bid, Rahy's Attorney arrived at the wire with 1 3/4 lengths to spare.

"I thought maybe we shouldn't go quite as early, or they might get to him late," said Black, noting that a quick move on the turn had helped Rahy's Attorney prevail in the King Edward. "Slade got it right, again."

The $1 million Woodbine Mile, which remains Rahy's Attorney's major target, will be run on Sept. 20.

And, Black will have an interesting choice of prep races as both the Sky Classic at 1 3/8 miles and the Play the King at seven furlongs will be run over the turf course here Aug. 23.

"He's a very versatile horse," said Black.

Tasty Temptation targets Alabama

Marchfield's trainer, Mark Casse, had enjoyed success of his own in a 1 1/4-mile turf stakes here Saturday as Tasty Temptation prevailed in the $251,600 Wonder Where.

"It was good to see her finally win one," said Casse, who had watched Tasty Temptation run well when making her last three starts in the La Lorgnette, Woodbine Oaks, and Queen's Plate without tasting victory. "She finished really well."

Racing without blinkers for the first time at the meeting, Tasty Temptation rated in eighth place through slow fractions in the Wonder Where's soft going before launching a sustained rally which carried her to a half-length victory under regular rider Patrick Husbands.

"With the blinkers, she relaxed," said Casse. "She wouldn't do that before."

Casse had considered sending Tasty Temptation to Belmont for Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks and was encouraged to see Wynning Ride finish third in that Grade 1 race over 1 1/4 miles in her first start since ending fourth in the Woodbine Oaks.

"If Wynning Ride is any indication, [Tasty Temptation] can run with any of those fillies," said Casse. "She beat Wynning Ride pretty significantly here."

Casse plans to give Tasty Temptation a shot at those types in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-old fillies on Aug. 22.

And while the Alabama would be Tasty Temptation's first try on dirt, Casse sees several reasons to be optimistic.

"Her sire, Medaglia d'Oro, has been really successful on dirt," said Casse. "We breezed her on dirt here, on the training track, and she went well. And, we know she can go a mile and a quarter."

Trio of riders losing their bug

Three jockeys who have been competing at both Woodbine and Fort Erie are on the verge of losing their apprentice allowances.

Catherine O'Brien will be riding with the bug for the last time here Wednesday while Melanie Pinto's allowance expires Thursday and Krista Carignan's on Aug. 6.

O'Brien, 29, was the runner-up in last year's Sovereign Award voting for outstanding apprentice despite having her campaign cut short when she sustained a broken tibia during a spill at Fort Erie on Oct. 6.

At the time, O'Brien had ridden 19 winners here and 20 at Fort Erie. She did not return to action until July 1 and through Sunday had ridden two winners here and one at Fort Erie.

Pinto, 28, also was a Sovereign Award finalist last year with 41 of her 45 wins coming at Fort Erie.

Through Sunday, she had ridden 27 winners to sit second in the standings at the Fort Erie meeting and had another three wins at Woodbine.

Carignan, 21, had ridden 39 winners in Alberta last year when she moved east in the fall and added two wins here plus four at Fort Erie.

This year, Carignan has ridden two winners at Woodbine and eight at Fort Erie through Sunday's cards.

* With racing scheduled for the upcoming holiday Monday, Thursday will be a dark day here.