09/11/2013 1:12PM

Woodbine: Awesome Overture looking good for Durham Cup prep

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Paul Attard took a chance by scratching Awesome Overture from Sunday’s $250,000 Presque Isle Mile, with the hope that Friday’s prep for the Durham Cup Stakes would fill. He got his wish when the 1 1/16-mile allowance went with five.

Attard has some familiarity with the Presque Isle Mile, because of the success that his father, Sid, has had in the race. Sid won it last year with Eternal Rule and sent out Stunning Stag to finish third in 2010 and 2011.

“We wanted to have a look at the field, but we really wanted to run here,” Paul Attard said. “It didn’t cost much to enter and take a look. If it had come up really soft, we would have gone. To me, it’s more of a race for sprinters who can stretch out a little, like Eternal Rule did last year.”

Awesome Overture won his first three starts, all going 1 1/16 miles in maiden and allowance company. Last time out on Aug. 3, he was promoted from third to second in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup after Ultimate Destiny was declared a non-starter.

Awesome Overture’s only poor performance came in the July 1 Dominion Day Stakes. Attard said the 4-year-old missed some training prior to that Grade 3 fixture while in quarantine because of an outbreak of the equine herpesvirus in his barn.

“It affected each horse differently, and I really think it affected” Awesome Overture, Attard recalled. “He’s a strong horse who needs to train. He missed close to two weeks. It set us back a bit.”

Awesome Overture recorded two quick five-furlong breezes on the Polytrack and training track, prior to an easy half-mile in 50 seconds on the training track last Saturday.

“He’s been training well,” Attard said. “His last couple works have been good.”

Sid Attard entered Money Talker in the $89,400 feature.

Money Talker was in mediocre form until he captured a second-level optional claimer on the grass in his third local appearance Aug. 4. His best effort in two Polytrack starts was a fourth against maidens last year at Del Mar.

Peyton prevailed in his season debut in a third-level optional claimer July 1. He subsequently finished fourth (placed third) in the Seagram Cup and eighth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic on the grass.

Rounding out the field are Bowman’s Causeway and Sniper, who ran one-three in an Aug. 25 optional claimer. Bowman’s Causeway only got a 74 Beyer Speed Figure for winning that 1 1/16-mile route in 1:45.02.