07/07/2011 12:35PM

Woodbine: Attfield busy home and away

Barbara D. Livingston
Miss Keller, Canada’s champion female turf runner of 2010, finished sixth in her 2011 debut, the Nassau.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Six of the 21 fillies and mares nominated for Sunday’s Dance Smartly Stakes are trained by Roger Attfield here at Woodbine.

And while all six will be in action this weekend, the troops will be evenly split between the local turf feature and two out-of-town turf events.

Miss Keller, Mekong Melody, and No Explaining have been entered in the Grade 2, $300,000 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8-mile race that has attracted a field of 10.

Oregon Lady has been entered in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Modesty at 1 3/16 miles on the grass at Arlington Park.

Honimiere and Perfect Shirl are slated for action on Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial over 1 3/8 miles on turf at Delaware Park.

“I just want to spread them out a little bit,” said Attfield, considering his embarrassment of riches in the filly-mare turf division.

Miss Keller and Mekong Melody,the champion and runner-up in last year’s Sovereign Award balloting in the female turf category, will be looking to rebound following rather disappointing beginnings to their 2011 campaigns.

Eurico Rosa da Silva, aboard when Miss Keller finished sixth when making her local seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Nassau over one mile on turf here June 4, retains the mount.

Da Silva also was in the irons when Miss Keller worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds, going in company with Perfect Shirl and exercise rider Darren Fortune on the training-track turf course here Wednesday morning.

Mekong Melody was eighth in the Nassau, making her first start in almost seven months.

Jockey Patrick Husbands was aboard when she worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on the training-track turf Wednesday, going in company with No Explaining and exercise rider Suzanne Lorimer.

No Explaining, the in-form filly in Attfield’s trio, was beaten a neck here in the 1 1/16-mile turf allowance prep for the Dance Smartly after becoming a stakes winner in Pimlico’s Grade 3 Gallorette over the same distance on the grass four weeks earlier.

John Velazquez has been named on Mekong Melody, while David Moran has picked up the mount on No Explaining.

Oregon Lady set for Modesty

Oregon Lady, beaten 4 1/2 lengths as the fourth-place finisher when she made her stakes debut in the Nassau, will be ridden by Jesus Castanon in Sunday’s Modesty.

Bred in Ireland, the 4-year-old Oregon Lady had won three straight heading into the Nassau, beginning with her maiden victory and continuing through her first two allowance conditions.

Oregon Lady breezed five furlongs in 59.20 seconds on the training track turf here Wednesday with Fortune on board and going in company with stablemates Jacally and Smart Sting.

Confident about distance

Honimiere, a 5-year-old Irish-bred who races for owner Stella Perdomo, finished third in her North American debut for Attfield, the Grade 3 Bewitch over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Keeneland and then ran third here, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, in the Dance Smartly prep.

“I think she’ll handle that distance okay,” said Attfield, who has recruited Joe Rocco Jr. for the mount on Honimiere.

Perfect Shirl, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old owned by Charles Fipke, has been off since finishing third competing under third-level allowance terms over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland on May 7.

“I think she wants to run a mile and three-eighths or a mile and a half,” said Attfield, who has yet to try Perfect Shirl beyond nine furlongs.

Da Silva will be riding Perfect Shirl for the first time and also will be making his debut at Delaware Park.

Tyzach takes to the road

Tyzach, who is based at Woodbine with trainer Norm McKnight, will be at Delaware Park on Saturday for the Barbaro, a mile and 70 yard stakes race for 3-year-olds.

A Kentucky-bred who races for McKnight’s Knightquest Stable, Tyzach won his only two starts as a 2-year-old at Fort Erie, including one of the track’s restricted “Cup” races, and returned there to take a nonwinners-of-three on June 10.

“I had him ready to run here, but there’s been nowhere to run him,” said McKnight, noting that the Cup race was restricted to horses with a previous start at Fort Erie but deprived Tyzach of the opportunity to race in a first-level allowance.

While each of Tyzach’s starts has come at six furlongs McKnight is confident that the Barbaro distance will be within his reach.

“He’s bred for two turns. I’m sure he’ll handle it,” said McKnight.

Retirement fund raises $10K

The LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation netted more than $10,000 through its annual auction of Queen’s Plate saddlecloths.

The 17 customized saddle cloths, autographed by the jockeys, were offered on eBay with a minimum bid of $250, and the response was the best to date in the four-year history of the event.