10/10/2002 11:00PM

A win for latest in long line of Attards


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Paul Attard certainly didn't take long to make a name for himself as the latest member of the family training fraternity at Woodbine.

Attard, the 20-year-old son of trainer Sid Attard, connected with his first starter Thursday when Penthouse Prince, owned by Goldmart Farm, romped to a 5 3/4-length score as a 17-1 outsider in a field of 11 maiden 2-year-olds.

"He'd showed me a little bit of speed, and he was good at the gate," said Attard. "It wasn't a huge surprise, but the way he did it surprised me."

It certainly can't be surprising that Paul Attard ended up as a trainer with his father, Sid, and uncles Tino, Larry, and the late Joe Attard fixtures here over the years. He also is the third second-generation Attard to join the training ranks here, following Joe's son, Steve, and Tino's son, Kevin, into the profession.

"Since I could walk, I've been walking horses," said the youngest Attard, who may have been exaggerating only slightly as he estimates he actually started at about age 8.

Attard continued working for his father through his school years and during the time he attended nearby Humber College, where he earned a diploma in hotel and restaurant management.

"That was just as a backup," he said. "I always wanted this one day. I knew a long time ago this is what I wanted to do. This is what my life's all about."

Last year, Paul Attard took out his assistant trainer's license and officially became his father's right-hand man.

But about two months ago, Goldmart proprietor David Sepiachvili approached Sid Attard, with whom he also had horses, to inquire about Paul's availability.

"My father was very supportive," said Paul Attard. "It was tough for him; he lost an assistant."

Paul immediately moved over to the Goldmart barn while he completed the process of obtaining his trainer's license, and he now has 11 horses officially under his wing.

Valley of Violets will be looking to keep his streak alive Sunday, when she goes in Fort Erie's first race, and Attard hopes to see plenty more action in the near future.

"We're going to get into the claiming game a little bit," he said. "We're going to try to get some stalls at Gulfstream."

Hardy's workhorses get a rest

It's fairly quiet around trainer Mort Hardy's shed row these days as Mysterious Affair and Anglian Prince, who were going concerns for the barn this spring and summer, both have been turned out for the season.

Mysterious Affair, a 5-year-old mare owned and bred by Hardy, started eight times between March 29 and Aug. 3.

Competing exclusively in stakes sprints, on both dirt and turf, Mysterious Affair won the Whimsical and Ballade. She also finished second in the La Voyageuse, New Providence, Kamar, and Royal North and third in the Zadracarta while banking $295,073.

Hardy had planned to run Mysterious Affair here Oct. 26, in the six-furlong Ontario Fashion

"She didn't work good the last time I worked her," said Hardy. "I guess she was trying to tell me she wanted a rest."

Mysterious Affair currently is at the nearby Kingfield Farm, owned by Catherine Day Phillips, but is slated to be back racing next spring.

Anglian Prince, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Len Prussky, started 10 times between March 31 and Sept. 14, in a stakes-only campaign at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/2 miles.

While his lone win of the season came in the Grade 3 Marine, Anglian Prince also finished second in the Woodstock and Queen's Plate and third in the Plate Trial and Prince of Wales while earning $410,112.

Anglian Prince wound up his campaign with a sixth-place finish here in the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin, which already had been designated as his last start of the year.

"He lugged in bad in his last race," said Hardy. "We took a little chip out of his knee."

Anglian Prince has been sent to the nearby Turn for Home Farm of trainer Dave MacLean and also is scheduled to return to the track in the spring.

Last Mysterious, a 2-year-old full sister to Mysterious Affair, was pulled up and vanned off when making her last start in the Victorian Queen here Oct. 2.

"She pulled a muscle behind," said Hardy. "She's comfortable now; she can move around the stall, and she couldn't before.

"It was very serious, but sometimes these young horses repair themselves. Hopefully, she'll be okay next year."

Heyahohowdy gets stiffer challenge

Heyahohowdy, who has been making hay in the Ontario-sired ranks, will be venturing into slightly more open waters when she faces fellow Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies here in Monday's Carotene Stakes.

The Carotene, new to the schedule this year, is a 1 1/8-mile turf race that has attracted a field of six and will be worth $161,250.

"It's a step up," acknowledged Norm DeSouza, who trains Heyahohowdy for the SVGB Stable. "But she's feeling very good right now. I'm confident in her."

Heyahohowdy began her career in May with a $32,000 tag but comes into the Carotene with 4 wins in 6 starts and earnings of $255,104.

She is perfect in three turf outings, including the seven-furlong Passing Mood here July 17 and the 1 1/16-mile La Prevoyante in her last appearance Sept. 15.

While the Carotene's 1 1/8-mile distance will be the farthest Heyahohowdy has traveled, DeSouza believes the filly's running style is well-suited to the trip.

"She'll sit right there," said DeSouza. "She just does her own thing."

Shane Ellis, Heyahowhowdy's only rider to date, will be aboard Monday.

* The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will meet here 8 p.m. Wednesday, in the second-floor International Room. Guests and new members are welcome.