07/05/2013 1:38PM

Woodbine: Attfield goes for five in a row in Singspiel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Maybe someday the $150,000 Singspiel Stakes will be renamed after trainer Roger Attfield, who has won the Grade 3 turf marathon five times, including in each of the past four years. In 2012, he ran one-two after a stirring stretch battle between the 10-year-old Musketier and Simmard.

On the Queen’s Plate undercard Sunday, Attfield will saddle Forte Dei Marmi in the 12-furlong Singspiel. The inconsistent European import ran the race of his life in his last Woodbine appearance in October, when he was a prominent third in the Grade 1 Canadian International.

Forte Dei Marmi has struggled since the International. He wound up seventh in an April 6 allowance at Keeneland and was subsequently pulled up there in the Grade 2 Elkhorn by jockey Julien Leparoux. He has been freshened since finishing nearly four lengths back in ninth in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico on May 18.

Attfield said Forte Dei Marmi came out of the Elkhorn none the worse for wear.

“I guess he felt that there was something wrong, but it was obvious as soon as he pulled up that there wasn’t,” Attfield recalled. “They do what they think is right, and so they should.”

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Forte Dei Marmi has posted several bullet works on turf and Polytrack heading into the Singspiel, and North America’s leading rider, Joel Rosario, has the mount.

“He’s just turned the corner and is coming back to where I want him,” Attfield said. “He’s doing very, very well. He just needs some give in the ground.”

Attfield also sends out the recent maiden winner Perfect Timber, who appears to possess lots of stamina.

Aldous Snow ran his best race in the 2012 Breeders’ Stakes, during which he rallied stoutly on the far turn to take dead aim at Irish Mission in the stretch. He seemed poised to go by that lanky filly, but Irish Mission held her ground and prevailed by a half-length in the 12-furlong event, which is the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Aldous Snow hasn’t shown much this year, however, and trainer Malcolm Pierce said he would like to see him closer to the pace than usual.

“He seems to be getting himself so far out of his races that he takes all chance away,” Pierce explained. “He makes his run, and they just keep going in front of him. I’d like to see him lay a little closer. I’m hoping the mile and a half is the right thing for him.”

John Velazquez has the call on Aldous Snow.

Pool Play, a Grade 1 winner on dirt, was a distant sixth in his last grass outing in the 12-furlong Elkhorn. He has a pair of runner-up placings from nine turf starts.

Fifty Proof has struggled since his front-running score over Ontario-sired opposition in the Dec. 2 Sir Barton Stakes. He was a close second after leading the way going 1 1/2 miles on this course in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf in 2010.

The 4-year-old filly Ardara was supplemented at a cost of $3,000.