11/29/2006 1:00AM

Sweet Breanna out to cure seconditis


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It has been a rather frustrating year for trainer Steve Attard, who had 9 wins and 22 seconds in Ontario this year heading into Friday's card. Six of those seconds came in stakes races, including three by Sweet Breanna, two from Saskawea, and one from Ascot Bill.

"It's been a little frustrating, but we're still making money," said Attard. "They've earned more than $500,000 between the three of them. It seems like some of the seconds, we were the best horse in the race. Some of them, we weren't. Some of the seconds could have been thirds."

Sweet Breanna, who has 1 win and 6 second-place finishes from 9 starts this season, will be looking to rediscover a winning touch here in Friday's feature race, a $73,500 second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles. The allowance has a field of seven fillies and mares and includes a $62,500 optional claiming price.

Owned by the Beclawat Stable of Les Pereira, Sweet Breanna ran in the Woodbine Oaks and the Bison City at Fort Erie this summer, finishing second in both to Kimchi, a leading candidate for the Sovereign Award 3-year-old filly title. After finishing sixth in the Wonder Where, Sweet Breanna finished second in the Algoma behind Financing-available, the favorite for older filly and mare Sovereign honors, and then finished third in the La Lorgnette behind Vestrey Lady, another 3-year-old filly title contender.

In her last two starts, both in second-level allowances at 1 1/16 miles, Sweet Breanna once again finished second.

"She's had a tough campaign, but she loves the racetrack," said Attard. "She'd rather be here. She doesn't like the farm. In her last two races the pace was too slow, and she was too far off it."

Justin Stein, who was Sweet Breanna's regular rider earlier this year, returns following a two-race hiatus.

Gold Fish, who finished a closing second in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette, is cutting back after finishing fourth in the 1 1/8-mile prep for the Maple Leaf prep and last of seven in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf.

Compromised by slow paces in both of those races, Gold Fish will need decent fractions to set up her rally. A Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly owned by Hi Five Racing, Gold Fish is scheduled to be the last starter of 2006 for trainer Tom O'Keefe. Emma-Jayne Wilson returns to ride.

Saskawea likely to get relief

Saskawea has finished second in her last two starts, the six-furlong Fanfreluche and the seven-furlong Glorious Song. She was nominated to Saturday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie, but Attard said he will be looking for an easier option.

A 2-year-old filly owned and bred by Pereira, Saskawea made her debut at five furlongs here Sept. 24, closing from well back to finish second under jockey Emile Ramsammy.

"Emile thought she should have won her first race," said Attard. "She got stopped behind a horse that was dying and came flying."

With an eye toward the Fanfreluche, Attard ran Saskawea back in a six-furlong maiden special Oct. 7, and she won by a neck after leading by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole.

"I had to run her back quick into the next maiden race," said Attard. "I wasn't too happy that she almost got beat after opening up down the lane."

Saskawea returned three weeks later in the Fanfreluche, and fate was not on her side that day.

"I was totally disappointed," said Attard. "She broke very badly and rushed up there. For her to finish second proved to me that she's a real nice horse."

Saskawea was well beaten by Sealy Hill in the Glorious Song, but the loss did not change Attard's opinion of her.

"She ran into a bear," said Attard. "Sealy Hill is probably the best 2-year-old filly I've seen here this year."

Ascot Bill retired from racing

Ascot Bill, another Pereira homebred, looked primed for a big year after finishing second in the Plate Trial and fourth in the Queen's Plate this June.

"After the Plate Trial and the Plate, I thought we were going to be laughing," said Attard.

But Ascot Bill failed to pick up a check in four subsequent outings and has been retired.

This fall, Ascot Bill was sent to Cornell University in New York, where veterinarians informed Attard that Ascot Bill would require two operations, five weeks apart, to correct his breathing problems.

"Even then, the prognosis was still not good," said Attard. "If he did come back, he wouldn't be close to the horse he was. So Les decided to retire him. He'll be a nice riding horse for someone."

Last Answer works six furlongs

Last Answer, one of the leading candidates for the $125,000 Valedictory Stakes, breezed six furlongs in 1:14 here Wednesday. A 1 3/4-mile race, the Valedictory is the closing-day feature here Dec. 10.

Emile Ramsammy, who rode Last Answer to an impressive victory in the 1 1/2-mile Valedictory prep here Nov. 12, was aboard for the drill.

"Emile just sat on him," said Mike Keogh, who trains Last Answer for owner-breeder Gustav Schickedanz. "He worked very nice."

Last Answer also was one of the top turf horses on the grounds despite failing to win in six starts. The 6-year-old gelding finished second three times and third once, beaten a total of just over a length in those four races.

Moonshine Justice set for Sir Barton

Moonshine Justice, owned by Centennial Farms Niagara and trained by Alec Fehr, worked four furlongs in 49.40 here Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's $125,000 Sir Barton Stakes.

"It was a really nice work," said Fehr, who claimed Moonshine Justice for $50,000 here Nov. 1 and watched him win under second-level allowance terms in his next start.

"He's a very easy horse to train. He's very easy on himself, so I ask him to go a little bit in his works. He went through the lane really nicely."

The Sir Barton also is expected to attract Arch Hall, the two-time defending champion in the 1 1/16 mile stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.