09/09/2013 2:10PM

Woodbine: Excaper sharpens up to face Wise Dan in Mile

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Tom Keyser
Excaper is expected to be part of a field of six for Sunday's Woodbine Mile.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Excaper, pointing for Sunday’s Woodbine Mile, breezed four furlongs in 50.40 seconds on the E.P. Taylor turf course here Monday morning.

The Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, which offers a purse of $1 million, is expected to go with a field of six headed by defending champion Wise Dan and is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

On Monday, Luis Contreras was aboard Excaper as the Kentucky-bred 4-year-old was the first horse to work on a course rated good with the dogs up.

“I wanted him to go in about 48, but with the dogs out, that was about right,” said Ian Black, who conditions Excaper for Richard Kaster and Frederick Wieting. “He picked it up down the stretch and galloped out really well, and that’s what I wanted.”

[WOODBINE MILE: Watch post-position draw live this Thursday]

Excaper is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Play the King over seven furlongs on turf here Aug. 25.

Justin Stein rode Excaper there, but Contreras, who was at Del Mar that day to ride Delegation in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, has regained the mount for the Woodbine Mile.

That runner-up effort was the sixth in stakes company for Excaper, including the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

Excaper got a late start to his current campaign, winning under allowance terms here over seven furlongs on grass in his only start prior to the Play the King.

“He missed some time in Florida,” said Black, who sent out Rahy’s Attorney to win the Woodbine Mile in 2008. “He came in here April 20 and started breezing in June.”

Dimension, who shipped in from Kentucky to win the Play the King by 2 1/2 lengths, and Riding the River, a half-length behind Excaper in third, also are heading for the Woodbine Mile along with New York-based Za Approval and English invader Trade Storm.

Attfield works stakes horses

Forte dei Marmi and Perfect Timber, both trained by Roger Attfield, breezed six furlongs over the main turf course here Monday in preparation for Sunday’s Northern Dancer.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva was aboard Forte dei Marmi, who was clocked in 1:16.80, while Steven Bahen did the honors on Perfect Timber, who finished on even terms with a workmate and was clocked in 1:17.80 after opening up early.

“They really didn’t need anything much; I just wanted to get a nice work into them,” said Attfield. “Perfect Timber was a bit strong going into the turn.”

The Grade 1 Northern Dancer, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, offers a purse of $500,000.

Forte dei Marmi will be seeking his third straight turf stakes win here after winning the 1 1/2-mile Singpsiel and the 1 1/4-mile Sky Classic.

The lightly raced Perfect Timber ran second in the Singspiel and sixth in the Sky Classic.

Moment of Majesty and Kissable, also trained by Attfield, breezed six furlongs in 1:16.40 while going in company on the turf here Monday.

Emma-Jane Wilson guided Moment of Majesty while exercise rider and assistant trainer Suzanne Lorimer was aboard Kissable.

Moment of Majesty is headed for Sunday’s Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race which offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $300,000 and is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Kissable is pointing for Belmont’s Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares on Sept. 28, and then is scheduled to go to England, where she will be up for auction this fall.