08/04/2002 11:00PM

Tiller has an ace in both stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Bob Tiller will saddle favorites in both Woodbine stakes on Wednesday, when he sends out Win City in the $136,875 Seagram Cup, and Forever Grand in the $135,125 Vice Regent.

The 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup was originally scheduled for Sunday's card, which was canceled because of a horrific barn fire at Woodbine early Sunday morning.

Win City, Canada's reigning horse of the year and champion 3-year-old, has struggled this year, going winless in five starts. Two starts back, he was beaten a neck for second in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap, and is coming off a runner-up placing in the restricted Izvestia Stakes.

Owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. has taken Win City's slump in stride. "He looks great; I think the fame's just gone to his head," DiGiulio said, joking.

Tiller, Canada's top trainer in 2001, is puzzled with Win City's subpar form.

"He's had some minor aches and pains," Tiller said, "but they haven't been enough to stop him from running. He just hasn't arrived yet."

Also entered in the Seagram were Attest, A Fleets Dancer, Lucky Molar, Tiltam, Parrott Bay, and Lil Personalitee.

Attest has run four solid races at the meeting for trainer Lorne Richards. Usually forwardly placed, Attest ended up trailing the field early in the allowance prep for the Dominion Day, before mounting a belated rally.

Richards was satisfied with Attest's effort in the Dominion Day. Attest edged Win City for second, finishing 5 3/4 lengths behind Kentucky invader Bonus Pack after pressing a slow pace in the 1 1/4-mile race.

"He beat all the locals in the Dominion Day," Richards noted, "and the distance is probably farther than he wants to go."

A Fleets Dancer, the 2001 champion older horse in Canada, has only a second and a third-place finish in three starts this year. A late-running 7-year-old, he ended up sixth as the favorite in the Dominion Day, an effort trainer Roger Attfield attributes in part to the fact that the horse was running beside Catch the Ring, a mare.

"He just galloped along with her," Attfield said. "Neither of them were going to leave each other. He's such a funny horse. You never really know how he's going to do when he goes over there."

Forever Grand is one of several Ontario-sired 3-year-olds trying the turf for the first time in the one-mile Vice Regent. He displayed brilliant early-season sprint form before finishing third in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate.

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