05/28/2010 12:00AM

Turf rivals in Florida meet again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - At the time it was run in March, it looked like the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream could be a preview of the $150,000 Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine. That scenario has come to fruition, as the top two finishers in the Appleton, Society's Chairman and Rahy's Attorney, are in the field for Sunday's talent-laden Grade 3 turf stakes.

Rahy's Attorney won the 2008 Connaught, and ran second in last year's edition. He spent last winter in Florida with trainer Ian Black, and was a non-threatening ninth in his season debut in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes on Feb 20 at Gulfstream.

A month later, Society's Chairman rallied strongly to beat the pace-stalking Rahy's Attorney by a head in the Appleton.

"I thought it was a good race," said Black. "It was at 7 1/2 furlongs, and he wins it at seven."

Black said an equipment change might help to get Rahy's Attorney back in the winner's circle on Sunday.

"I'm going to take the blinkers off him," Black explained. "Sometimes, I think he gets in front and doesn't see [other horses] coming."

Society's Chairman, one of four horses entered in the race by trainer Roger Attfield, has started once since the Appleton, finishing third in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland.

Jimmy Simms has been laid up since his front-running victory here Nov. 1 in the one-mile Labeeb Stakes.

The Connaught was run at 1 1/16 miles from 1995-2009, but has been shortened to seven furlongs this year. Attfield said the new distance isn't ideal for Society's Chairman and Jimmy Simms.

"A mile would be better for both of them, but the next [grass stakes] is a mile, anyway," said Attfield.

Not Bourbon, the 2008 Queen's Plate winner, is experimenting on the grass following a victory in a May 12 restricted allowance, his first outing in 20 months.