04/04/2003 12:00AM

Three stable stars now on comeback trail

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Sid Attard could only watch and wonder as three of his stable stars fell by the wayside last year.

But now Attard can look forward to the return of that powerful trio of Ginger Gold, Numerous Times, and Goldies Legacy, all of whom are at various stages on the road back to the races.

Canada's champion 2-year-old filly of 2001, Ginger Gold won the Labatt Woodbine Oaks and placed in stakes in her other four starts last year. Her campaign lasted just three months but still earned her a finalist's spot in the Sovereign Award voting for the division.

Ginger Gold came out of her second-place finish in the Aug. 5 Wonder Where Stakes with a bone chip in her right ankle and was sent to Kentucky, where she underwent surgery.

"It was a small, small chip," said Attard, who welcomed Ginger Gold back to his shed row here March 6. "She's doing very well; I'm very pleased with her."

Ginger Gold has recorded a pair of three-furlong breezes here and Attard hopes to see her back in action by mid-May.

Numerous Times was the Sovereign Award-winning turf male and runner-up in the 2001 Canadian Horse of the Year voting, winning the Grade 1 Atto Mile and posting a record of 6 wins in 6 starts.

But Numerous Times, a 6-year-old horse owned by the Committee Stable, recorded just a second-place finish in three outings last year in a campaign that began June 1 and ended July 18 when he was forced to go undergo surgery.

"He had a small chip in his left ankle," said Attard, noting that Numerous Times also had been compromised by a throat infection early in the season and later was found to be suffering from ulcers. "Right now, touch wood, he's doing very well."

Numerous Times wintered at Gulfstream Park with one of Sid's brothers, trainer Tino Attard, and has been working regularly since mid-January.

"We're not picking out any races for him yet," said Sid Attard. "Last year, we made all these plans for him and they got screwed up. This year, we're going to play it by ear."

Goldies Legacy showed immense potential when he easily won his first start, which came at five furlongs here last June 15. He was slated to make his stakes debut two weeks later in the Clarendon, but Goldies Legacy came up with a quarter crack and missed the Clarendon and the July 14 Colin.

Then, after getting over that problem, Goldie's Legacy was entered for the Aug. 18 Vandal - he would have been the favorite - but was scratched due to an unspecified problem that ended his season.

Goldies Legacy spent his off-season in Florida and is not scheduled to return to Woodbine until the end of April.

"He hasn't worked yet," said Attard. "He's going to work a couple of times, then we'll bring him up."

Mysterious Affair on target for Whimsical

Mysterious Affair, a Sovereign Award finalist in the older filly and mare category last year, is slated to make her seasonal bow in next Saturday's $125,000 Whimsical, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Mysterious Affair, a 6-year-old bred, owned, and trained by Mort Hardy, has banked $845,045 while winning 11 races and finishing in the money 19 times in 25 career starts.

"I'd like to see if she could make a million dollars before I start breeding her," said Hardy.

Mysterious Affair wintered at the nearby Kingfield Farm of owner-trainer Catherine Day Phillips, where she began training in mid-January.

The Whimsical would be her first start since Aug. 3, when she finished second in the Grade 3 Royal North over six furlongs of turf. Hardy had planned to run Mysterious Affair in the Ontario Fashion here last Oct. 26, but instead put her away for the season after he became dissatisfied with her training.

"She was telling me she needed a rest," said Hardy.

Mysterious Affair had won the last two editions of the Whimsical after opening up both campaigns in the five-furlong La Voyageuse Handicap, where she finished second last year and fourth in 2001.

She was not nominated to this year's La Voyageuse, run on the second day of the meeting, March 23.

"Normally, I would have liked to have gone there," said Hardy, "but with the weather, I couldn't get her ready.

"There's no races for her other than stakes. She seems good - it's just a question of the others, who have had a race."

Anglian Prince awaits right spot

Hardy also is looking forward to the seasonal bow of Anglian Prince, a 4-year-old gelding who is ready to run when the right spot materializes.

Anglian Prince, owned by Len Prussky, had a productive 3-year-old season, winning the Marine Stakes and finishing second in the Queen's Plate en route to earning $410,112 before his campaign was cut short in mid-September.

"We operated on him last fall," said Hardy. "He had a little chip in the knee."

Anglian Prince, who spent his winter at trainer Dave MacLean's nearby Turn for Home Farm, started back up in the first week of January.

"He's been training excellent since he came in," said Hardy.