06/21/2007 11:00PM

Tough bunch gathered for Singspiel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Singspiel and the Charlie Barley, a pair of overnight turf stakes offering purses of $100,000, round out a quartet of stakes on tap here at Woodbine on Sunday, Queen's Plate Day.

The field of 10 for the Singspiel, a 1 1/2-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, includes some pretty heavy hitters in Last Answer, Pellegrino, and Royal Challenger.

Last Answer was a Sovereign Award finalist in the turf male category last year, Pellegrino is a multiple stakes winner whose victories include the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup in 2004, and Royal Challenger won the Breeders' Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf here last year.

Last Answer, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Mike Keogh, journeyed to Keeneland to make his 2007 debut in the Grade 3 Elkhorn over 1o1/2 miles on turf and emerged from his dull 11th-place effort with a virus.

Six weeks later, Last Answer ran here in the 1 1/8-mile main-track prep for the Dominion Day and was beaten 7 1/2 lengths as the third-place finisher.

"I just ran him there to put one into him," said Keogh. "I thought if he won it, I might take a shot at the Dominion Day. "The mile and a half's better for him anyway."

Pellegrino, an 8-year-old horse who has been trained by Roger Attfield since the winter of 2005, won last year's Elkhorn and the Chief Bearhart here on Polytrack, but didn't have much to show for his other eight appearances.

After two indifferent efforts at Keeneland this spring, including a seventh-place finish in the Elkhorn, Pellegrino returned here to finish an even fourth in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

"I've never been 100 percent sure he likes this big, sweeping turf course," said Attfield. "But, he's a good old hard-knocking horse. It just depends on his day."

Royal Challenger, a 4-year-old colt trained by Brian Lynch, has started once this season, finishing a nonthreatening sixth in the Dominion Day prep.

The Charlie Barley, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds, attracted a field of 12.

Among the key participants are Get Rich Quick, who is coming off a 1 1/16-mile first-level turf allowance win here, and Angel of the House, who won his maiden on the grass here last fall and recorded back-to-back third-place finishes in recent main-track stakes.

Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Get Rich Quick won his maiden on the grass at Fair Grounds and then finished sixth in a key race at Keeneland before scoring in his return to Woodbine, defeating older horses on May 27.

"Now he's back with straight 3-year-olds on a high note, and the mile should be a good distance for him, too," said Pierce.

Angel of the House, trained by Dave Cotey, was beaten 1 1/2 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Marine and 5 3/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park in his last two outings.

"I thought he ran good races," said Cotey. "He's just a hard-knocking horse. He's only missed one check. He'll run on any surface."