08/29/2008 11:00PM

Society's Chairman attempts turnaround


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - If Society's Chairman comes close to duplicating his performance in the Connaught Cup here May 25, he'll have his opponents in Monday's Halton Stakes over a barrel.

While the Connaught Cup and Halton both are turf stakes the similarity doesn't go much farther, with the Connaught Cup a Grade 3 at 1o1/16 miles and the Halton a yearling sales stakes at one mile.

But Society's Chairman has had his ups and downs since the Connaught Cup, and he comes into the Halton off a dismal last-place finish here Aug. 9 in his second try on Polytrack.

"We have some theories about what happened, and we'll just have to toss that race until proven otherwise," said Roger Attfield, who trains Society's Chairman for owner Charles Fipke. "We were going to go in the Woodbine Mile with him; that was always our plan. But, we can't do it off that race."

Society's Chairman, a 5-year-old horse who did not debut until this March, has come back to record two solid works over the training track turf course, with the latest a five-furlong bullet in 59.40 seconds here Wednesday under regular rider Jono Jones.

"He worked unbelievable," said Attfield. "He's in good shape."

The other leading candidates in the Halton are Archers Alyancer, a 6-year-old gelding trained by John Simms, and Sebastian's Song, a 3-year-old colt trained by Alec Fehr.

Archers Alyancer is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Ontario Jockey Club, a seven-furlong turf race here July 19.

Sebastian's Song was a rallying winner here Aug. 3 when making his turf debut in a 6 1/2-furlong optional $62,500 claiming/second-level allowance race.

My Imperial Dancer, last year's Halton winner, also is in the lineup, but his recent form is not encouraging.

Arden Belle drops in Algoma

Arden Belle will get some class relief while trying to capture the Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, for the second year in a row.

Arden Belle, a three-time stakes winner in 2007, is winless in four starts this year, all in open stakes company. She finished on the edges in each of her three most recent outings, all at 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack.

"I think she's ready," said trainer Robert Gerl.

You Will Love Me also had a lucrative 2007 campaign. She got her first victory this year on the grass in the Aug. 17 Victoriana Stakes, which was her first start on Lasix.

"She had a very minor bleed after one of her races, so I put her on Lasix," said trainer Earl Barnett. "When I worked her on it, she worked tremendous, and it didn't seem to hinder her in her last race."

Barnett believes You Will Love Me is equally adept on either track.

"She's won on both surfaces," he said. "I think she's really good on Polytrack."

Dance to My Tune, second in last year's Algoma, is returning on short rest off a runner-up placing in the Belle Geste Stakes.

Casse sends two in Muskoka

Trainer Mark Casse will take two shots in the Muskoka when he runs Retraceable and Deeveetee in the seven-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies.

Retraceable parlayed a wide stalking trip into an easy first-out victory over stakes-placed Georgia Song in a six-furlong maiden event July 26. Her fast clocking of 1:10.40 translated into a solid 80 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I thought it was a great race," said Casse. "Georgia Song came back and won by seven lengths."

Casse described Retraceable as an attractive daughter of freshman sire Medaglia d'Oro who cost him only $20,000 at the sale.

"She had a calcium deposit on her left front," said Casse. "Her ankle was kind of large at the sale, and I think had that not been the case she probably would have been a $75,000 or $100,000 yearling. It's not nearly as big as it used to be."

Deeveetee finished a distant second Aug. 14 in a six-furlong maiden special, her only start.

"I think the seven-eighths will probably help her," said Casse. "She was very green in her first start and she should improve."

Also in the Muskoka are Astrotime and Wild Indiscretion, who both came from off the pace to win their only starts in maiden special company.

Maidens dangerous in Simcoe

There are only three winners in the seven-furlong Simcoe for 2-year-old colts and geldings and the promising maidens Silver Rocket and Shut It Down both could have a say in the outcome.

Silver Rocket is exiting back-to-back third-place finishes in the Clarendon and Vandal Stakes. He flashed speed on both occasions after breaking from post 1.

Trainer Gail Cox said she was disappointed with Silver Rocket's draw in both stakes.

"I think it limits your options in the race," Cox said. "It would have been nice to get him to relax from off the pace, like he had been doing, but that's difficult to do from the 1-hole. In his last race, everybody was staying well off the rail, and he just dragged [Patrick Husbands] to the lead."

Shut It Down came three wide from a stalking position to finish second against Ontario-sired stock July 27 in his only outing. He was subsequently sold by Casse to owner K.K. Sangara and now is trained by Lorne Richards.

"Mark told me before I bought him that he had a few behavior problems, but he seems to be pretty good," said Richards.

Gallant, a first-time starter on Monday, was a $95,000 purchase by Casse. "He's a very nice horse," said Casse. "He's worked extremely well. I think he'll really like the seven-eighths."

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink