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Woodbine notes: Attfield has another strong presence in Flaming Page
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Flaming Page has been dominated by trainer Roger Attfield, who has sent out four of the eight winners of the 1 1/2-mile overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares.
Even moving the Flaming Page to the main track could not stop Attfield, who sent out the 1-2-4 finishers in a field of five here last fall.
On Saturday, Attfield will be looking to add another chapter to his Flaming Page history when he sends out both Smart Penny and Janicellaine in search of their first stakes victory.
Smart Penny, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, will be traveling beyond 1 1/8 miles for the first time and trying turf for just the second time in the Flaming Page.
“I’ve always wanted to run her this long,” said Attfield, who has sent out the homebred Smart Penny to finish a close third in the 1 1/8-mile Trillium and a lapped-on fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here this year.“I think that’s really what she wants to do. Almost all her races came on Polytrack, but that’s just because those were the races there at the time.”
Smart Penny has worked well over the training turf course here and will have a new rider in Alex Solis.
Janicellaine, an Irish-bred 4-year-old owned by Three Chimneys Racing LLC, was sent to Attfield last spring and recorded her first North American victory in her last appearance, which came at a mile and 70 yards in a first-level allowance that came off the turf.
“That was a canter for her, actually,” said Attfield. “I believe she’ll like the stretchout as well.”
Janicellaine finished a close fourth in a 1 1/4-mile handicap in her second start and final English appearance in the spring of 2011.
Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Janicellaine.
Moment of Majesty is dropping in class after finishing seventh, beaten nine lengths, in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf here Sept. 16.
“I was somewhat perplexed by it – she was kicking down the barn the next day,”said Sue Leslie, trainer and part-owner of the 5-year-old Moment of Majesty. “The turf was a little on the soft side and she’s shown in some of her workouts that she doesn’t like that. We’ll be keeping an eye on the weather. Coming back in two weeks is a big concern, but it’s like she never even made any run at all last time.”
Moment of Majesty also will be trying 1 1/2 miles for the first time in the Flaming Page.
“She’s run a couple of good races at 1 1/8 miles, and I think she’ll handle it,” said Leslie.
Gerry Olguin, who has piloted Moment of Majesty to victories this year in the Zadracarta over seven furlongs of turf and the Belle Mahone, retains the mount.
Clarinet, who will be making her first start for trainer Josie Carroll, is the only filly in the Flaming Page field with a win at the distance, but she has not seen action since June 2.
Pottins has a standout
Judy Pottins has had her trainer’s license since 1994 and has kept a low profile here in the ensuing years, with just a half-dozen horses contributing to her 80 lifetime starters. But Pottins has come up with her best runner to date this year in PecheMobilee, who will be looking to give the “50-something” trainer her first stakes win here in Sunday’s $125,000 Classy ‘n Smart, a restricted 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.
“I was licensed in 1980 as a groom, and worked intermittently as a groom while going to vet school,” she said. “I was sad when I graduated – I couldn’t walk hots any more.”
Pottins, who graduated from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, has maintained a small-animal practice through the years.
“I still work at it several days a week,” said Pottins. “I do a lot of emergency medicine. It keeps some of the bills paid.”
PecheMobilee also has been doing more than her share in that regard, banking $63,810 with two wins in her first five starts.
Pottins also is the co-owner and breeder of PecheMobilee with her brother Howard Pottins, who is a groom for trainer Mike DePaulo, with his charges including champion Pender Harbour.
PecheMobilee is the first foal of Ma Peche, who won a $12,500 claiming race here in October of 2007 and was the last winner for Pottins before her 3-year-old daughter’s emergence.
“A couple of trainers told me not to breed [Ma Peche], that she wouldn’t be fashionable,” said Pottins. “But I breed for phenotype, not genotype. She was sound and had a good head. She was a perfect broodmare.”
PecheMobilee debuted here June 14 and was a closing fifth in a restricted $25,000 maiden race, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in a straight Ontario-sired maiden race three weeks later, PecheMobilee pressed the pace and was a 2 1/2-length winner under her regular rider, Quincy Welch.
“I expected her to win that day,” said Pottins. “She was set up so perfectly.”
There have been a couple of bumps along the road since then, as PecheMobilee finished seventh in a restricted first-level allowance over seven furlongs on turf and sixth in the 1 1/16-mile Eternal Search for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.
But then PecheMobilee came up with her best effort to date in her next and most recent start, rallying from just off the pace under Welch to score by three-quarters of a length and earn a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 70.
“She did it so easy. I never could have expected that,” said Pottins.“She’s got a really good head, probably even better than her mother’s. She’s getting better. And, she doesn’t look like a mule now. She’s filled out quite a bit.”
Locally based jockeys Justin Stein and Chris Griffith will be at Presque Isle Downs on Saturday evening for stakes engagements aboard Woodbine shippers.
Stein rides Tiny Bear in the $100,000 Presque Isle Debutante, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies; Discreet Glen in the $100,000 Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile, for 2-year-olds at six furlongs; and Bear Tough Tiger in an open allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs. All three are trained by Reade Baker.
Griffith will ride Just Got In in the Debutante and Dan the Tin Man in the Dixon Memorial for his brother, trainer Ricky Griffith.