07/25/2007 11:00PM

Saskawea eyes tiara breakthrough


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Success has proved elusive for trainer Steve Attard and owner Les Pereira in the three races that make up the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

But Attard and Pereira will try again here Saturday with Saskawea in the finale of the series, the $250,000 Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Sweet Breanna contested all three legs of last year's triple tiara for Attard and Pereira. After finishing second to Kimchi in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, Sweet Breanna journeyed to Fort Erie for the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, where she again was the runner-up behind Kimchi.

In the Wonder Where, Sweet Breanna finished sixth - with Kimchi fourth - in the field of 12.

In this year's Woodbine Oaks, Saskawea ended second to Sealy Hill, who is trained by Mark Casse. Kimchi was trained by Casse during her triple tiara run.

Saskawea, like Sweet Breanna had a year earlier, found herself between a rock and a hard place as she pressed front-runner Street Sounds to help set up a perfect trip for Sealy Hill.

In the Bison City, which was moved back to Woodbine this year, Saskawea assumed command under regular rider Justin Stein. Saskawea faltered to finish last in the field of five, while Sealy Hill crossed the finish first but was disqualified and placed third behind the put-up winner Street Sounds.

"I think it was bad luck we were out on the lead," Attard said. "We wanted to do what they did to us. We wanted to get behind somebody else.

"Justin said she emptied out at the head of the lane. She'd never done that before. We scoped her and did blood tests, but we couldn't find anything wrong."

Saskawea came back to breeze five furlongs on the training track turf course in 59.60 seconds here on July 15 and will be making her first start on the grass in the Wonder Where.

"She had a little problem with her throat after that work," Attard said. "I think we have it fixed now."

Attard has reason to believe the Wonder Where distance will not be an obstacle for Saskawea, who will be ridden for the first time by Jono Jones.

"By rights, she should handle it no problem," Attard said. "She's bred to go that far."

Sweet Breanna back in training

Attard and Pereira were hoping for big things this year from Sweet Breanna, who finished the 2006 season with a record of 2-6-1 for earnings of $322,170, although she did not win a stakes. Their dreams were derailed, however, as Sweet Breanna was injured during a workout here in early May and is in Florida.

Attard said Sweet Breanna has a fractured tibia and was sent south to prepare for a possible early retirement to the breeding shed. Sweet Breanna appeared to have made a quick recovery, however, and may be headed back to the racetrack.

"She's started training on the farm in Florida," Attard said. "She could be here by the end of the year."

Mike Fox, Alezzandro to work on turf

Mike Fox and Alezzandro, who accounted for the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, are slated to work over the main turf course here Sunday for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes on Aug. 4.

The Breeders' Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, follows Woodbine's 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate and Fort Erie's 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales in the Triple Crown series.

Mike Fox has raced once on turf, finishing third over yielding going in last year's 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer. Alezzandro would be making his turf debut in the Breeders' Stakes.

Barring any delays in the postal system, a total of 16 horses have been nominated to the Breeders' Stakes. Sealy Hill and the maiden Forever Red, the only fillies on the list, are entered in the Wonder Where.

Gator King and Mustfuhr, who also are among the eight maidens nominated, were slated to run over 1 1/4 miles of turf here Friday.

You Will Love Me wins Passing Mood

The favored You Will Love Me ($6.30) won her second Ontario sire stakes here Wednesday night in the $126,600 Passing Mood, a seven-furlong turf event for 3-year-old fillies.

You Will Love Me stalked the pace under Eurico Rosa da Silva, and fought with Birsay and pacemaker Boldly Seductive through the stretch. She dug in late and prevailed by a neck over Birsay in 1:23.03.

Quite a Knightmare rallied for third, and Boldly Seductive faded to fourth in the nine-horse field.

You Will Love Me captured the May 26 Lady Angela Stakes on the Polytrack. The Passing Mood was her first turf tally. She was coming off a runner-up finish over good ground in the Ontario Damsel Stakes.

"She ran very good in her last race, but I don't think she handled the good track," Da Silva said. "Today, the track was [firm], and she ran a huge race."

Trained by Earl Barnett, You Will Love Me earned $75,000 for her owner-breeder, Bill Jones.

* Apprentice Stephanie Fedora won her fifth career race aboard Very Professional in Wednesday's fifth event, thereby reducing her apprentice allowance from 10 pounds to five pounds.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink