10/02/2007 11:00PM

Sans Souci Island seeks rebound

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Roger Attfield has many fond memories of the top turf racemare Carotene, whom he trained through a four-year career beginning in 1985 that yielded six Sovereign Awards.

Carotene was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003, one year after a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies here was named in her honor.

On Saturday, Attfield will be looking to win the Carotene Stakes for the first time when he sends out Sans Souci Island and Dancer's Fan to face just three other opponents.

While Dancer's Fan is overmatched and is basically participating due to lack of a better immediate option, Sans Souci Island will be looking to fulfill the promise she showed when winning the first two starts of her career here earlier this year.

"I expect a big race from her," Attfield said. "I think she's a pretty nice filly. She just needs things to go right for her."

Sans Souci Island, whose opening successes both came over 1 1/16 miles of turf, was well bet when stretching out for the Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that was the final leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

"I really liked her going into that race," Attfield said. "I liked the distance and everything."

Sans Souci Island was a major disappointment to Attfield, as she finished a non-threatening seventh.

Attfield, however, said Sans Souci Island came out of the Wonder Where with a severe case of the thumps - an electrolyte imbalance - and he was hoping for better things when the filly cut back to one mile on turf for the Sept. 1 Ontario Colleen. She finished seventh in that race.

"The distance was too short that time," Attfield said. "I know she'd won over a mile and a sixteenth, but that wasn't against stakes horses."

Sans Souci Island is coming into the Carotene off a couple of sharp recent drills, including a six-furlong breeze in 1:11.60 on the turf training track here last Sunday.

"She worked fast," Attfield said. "She didn't use to have any speed at all, that filly.

"Maybe she'll be closer early this time; she could be changing. Or, maybe she'll take herself off it again."

Sans Souci Island will have a new rider for the Carotene in Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Arravale off to Keeneland

Arravale and Briarwood Circle both shipped out Wednesday morning for Grade 1 engagements at Keeneland on Saturday.

Arravale has been entered in the Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Briarwood Circle's target is the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.

Both the First Lady and the Breeders' Futurity are part of the "Win and You're In" program and a victory would guarantee a spot in the Breeders' Cup.

The First Lady winner qualifies for a starting position Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and the Breeders' Futurity winner earns a berth in the Juvenile.

Arravale is coming off a 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 16 and will be seeking her first win while making her fourth start of the season. Regular rider Jose Valdivia has the mount.

"If we do win, we go to Monmouth," said Mac Benson, who trains Arravale. "If we don't, there's the E.P. Taylor."

The Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will be run here Oct. 21.

"She's an older mare, and she's in great shape," Benson said. "She hasn't done that much this year."

Briarwood Circle, coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Summer over one mile on turf here Sept. 16, will have regular rider Patrick Husbands in the irons at Keeneland.

Trained by Mark Casse, Briarwood Circle won his maiden on the turf and then finished second on Polytrack in the off-the-turf prep for the Summer.

"Our feeling always has been that he'll be better on Polytrack or dirt," Casse said.

Accompanying Briarwood Circle on his trip to Keeneland was Lickety Lemon, who was slated to run there Thursday in the $150,000 Jessamine, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

Dead Red works toward Nearctic

Dead Red, the Calder invader who stayed on at Woodbine after finishing 12th in the Woodbine Mile here Sept. 16, worked four furlongs in 48 seconds on the training track turf course here Wednesday.

Wilson, who rode Dead Red for the first time in the Woodbine Mile, was aboard for the drill and has the call for the Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race here Oct. 21.

"I thought he ran a huge race," said trainer and part-owner George Mikhalides, noting that Dead Red was stretching out from five furlongs when beaten 12 3/4 lengths in the Woodbine Mile. "The ground was a little bit soft. Emma said every time she went to move with him, he stumbled. Hopefully, next time the ground will be firmer and he'll be used to the track and everything. He's doing very well. He looks perfect."

* Tyler Pizarro, who did not ride during the off-season, has been granted a 121-day extension of his apprentice allowance. Pizarro, the leading rider here heading into the final 10 weeks of the meeting, will have the bug until Jan. 27.

* Jim Mazur will be hosting a one-hour handicapping seminar beginning at 11 a.m. on the second floor of the grandstand here Saturday.

Mazur will be joined by Peter Mallett and Jim Bannon, and the main topic of discussion will be the Breeders' Cup. Attendees will receive a free copy of Mazur and Mallett's "Crushing the Cup."