08/21/2002 11:00PM

Woodbine grass action heating up


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - September is coming, and the turf course here will be in its full glory with the Grade 1 Atto Mile, Canadian International, and E.P. Taylor Stakes sure to attract horses from across North America and across the Atlantic.

The annual invasion should be officially launched early this week with Good Journey, trained by Wally Dollase, due to check in from California.

Good Journey's target is the Sept. 8 Atto Mile, a $1 million race for 3-year-olds and up.

A 6-year-old son of Nureyev, Good Journey is perfect in two starts this year and captured the Grade 2 Firecracker, a one-mile turf race at Churchill Downs, in his last start July 4.

Accompanying Good Journey on his trip east will be Sumati, also trained by Dollase and slated to go in Saturday's Grade 1 Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Sumati, a 6-year-old gelding by Warning, is coming off a solid runner-up effort over 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 25 but was offered for $62,500 in that optional claimer.

The $300,000 Niagara, at 1 1/2 miles, is positioned as a prep for the $1 million Canadian International over the same distance Sept. 29.

The $750,000 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares, also will be run on the Sept. 29 program.

Thinking turf for Win City

One local horse who is a somewhat surprising Atto Mile possibility is Win City, who was Canada's horse of the year and champion 3-year-old male last year but has been blanked in six appearances this season and would be making his turf debut.

"It's a tough spot, obviously, but we're considering it," said Bob Tiller, who trains Win City and is a co-owner of the gelding in partnership with Frank DiGiulio. He's got to try the grass one of these days."

Rights Reserved changes hands

Rights Reserved, a 2-year-old gelding who won the Colin Stakes here July 14, has been sold to American interests for an undisclosed sum.

A Pennsylvania-bred gelding who was purchased for $14,000 as a yearling by owner/trainer Gail Casselman at the Keeneland October sale, Rights Reserved was slated to ship out to Saratoga on Friday. His new owners are John Ball and Elliot Masie, and he will be trained by Chuck Simon.

"It's not easy for me to sell him," said Casselman, who owned 80 percent of Rights Reserved, with the balance held by John Mitchell. "I think he's a really, really nice horse, and when you have the nice ones you want to keep training them."

Rights Reserved, a son of With Approval, earned $98,961 in three starts here and was the first career stakes winner for Casselman, who still has two stakes candidates in Bright Knight and Leading Role.

Bright Knight, a 3-year-old filly who is coming off a second-place finish in the Eternal Search, is being pointed for the Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares that is one of six $100,000 yearling sales stakes here Sept. 2.

Leading Role, a 4-year-old filly who finished a close fourth in the Royal North over six furlongs on turf in her last start, is a possibility for the Seaway, a seven-furlong dirt race for fillies and mares Sept. 1.

Mysterious Affair to Seaway

Also headed for the Seaway is Mysterious Affair, a 5-year-old mare who has earned $845,045 for Mort Hardy, her owner, trainer, and breeder.

Hardy had hoped to run Mysterious Affair in Saturday's Shepperton, a 6 1/2-furlong race open to Ontario-sired runners of both sexes, but decided the circumstances were not quite right.

"She had a little bit of heat in one ankle," said Hardy. "She rapped herself a little.

"She'll probably be all right by Saturday, but I can't take a chance. I wanted to give her a couple more days, to make sure."

Anglian Prince, the talented 3-year-old gelding whom Hardy trains for Len Prussky, was entered for Sunday in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Grade 3 Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Handicap, but the race failed to fill.

The $150,000 McLaughlin, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will be run here Sept. 14, but Anglian Prince also has been nominated to the Elgin, which is the yearling sales stakes for colts and geldings, 3 and up.

Hardy did not rule out running Anglian Prince in both stakes.

* Apprentice jockey Jade Holmes recorded her first Woodbine win Wednesday evening, guiding Ocean Pointe ($16.40) to victory in the fourth race.