09/02/2008 11:00PM

Ventura tunes up for Mile


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Ventura, who will be a solid second choice in Sunday’s Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, had her final tune-up at Saratoga on Wednesday, working four furlongs in 48.11 seconds.

“She worked fine,” said trainer Bobby Frankel, adding that Ventura was scheduled to leave for Woodbine on Wednesday evening in company with Champs Elysees, who will run here in Sunday’s Grade 1 Northern Dancer.

Garrett Gomez has the call on both Frankel runners.

Ventura, a 4-year-filly owned by Juddmonte Farms, is coming into the Woodbine Mile off a close second-place finish in the Grade 2 CashCall Mile for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park on July 5.

Mulmur, based here with trainer Mark Frostad, also prepped for the Woodbine Mile on Wednesday, breezing four furlongs in 50.60 seconds on the main track.

“It was just a little blowout for him,” said Frostad.

Robin Platts, a Canadian Hall of Fame jockey who now works as an exercise rider for Frostad, was aboard for the drill.

As of Wednesday morning, the field for the $1 million Woodbine Mile was holding firm at seven with Kip Deville, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, looming an odds-on favorite.

Those scheduled to join Mulmur on the home team were Just Rushing, Wollemi Pine, Rahy’s Attorney, and Ice Bear.

The draw for the Woodbine Mile, which is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race for the first time, guaranteeing a spot in the BC Mile, was to be held here Thursday.

Champs Elysees also breezed at Saratoga on Wednesday, going five furlongs in 1:02.90 in preparation for the $750,000 Northern Dancer, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Spice Route, trained here by Roger Attfield, breezed for the Northern Dancer on Wednesday as well, getting four furlongs in 48 going around the cones on the main turf course under jockey Jim McAleney.

The Northern Dancer is expected to attract a deep field, including Group 1 winner Quijano, who arrived here at 2 a.m. on Wednesday following a long flight from Frankfurt, Germany.

Quijano, who is coming off a second-place finish in the Group 1 Deutschland Preis at Dusseldorf on July 20, will be making his second visit to Woodbine. The first came last fall when Quijano, trained by Peter Schiergen, finished a closing third in the Grade 1 Canadian International, which is his primary target again this season.

Accompanying Quijano on his flight was Santiago Attitlan, a 6-year-old gelding who will run in an allowance race here Saturday and is eyeing the Grade 2 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race on the Oct. 4 Canadian International Day program.