08/12/2013 12:33PM

Woodbine notes: Attfield seeks ninth Breeders' Stakes score with Global Express

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Michael Burns
Go Greeley (inside), ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, won the Vandal Stakes on Sunday by a nose over Heart to Heart.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Roger Attfield’s eight wins in the Breeders’ Stakes have come with horses of varying backgrounds.

There were the dominant winners With Approval, Izvestia, and Peteski, who all completed Canadian Triple Crown sweeps as odds-on favorites. There were the fillies Carotene, Pinafore Park, Free Vacation, and Sweetest Thing, who all defeated males in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

And, most recently, there was Perfect Shower, who was coming off a $25,000 maiden-claiming win and took the Breeders’ at 46-1.

Global Express, Attfield’s candidate for Sunday’s $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes, also is coming off a maiden victory but will be among the favorites off his impressive score over 1 3/8 miles on turf here July 26.

That was just the third career start for Global Express, who was bred in Ontario by last year’s Sovereign Award-winning breeder, Bill Graham, and sold as a 2-year-old in training at Fasig-Tipton’s Florida sale.

Global Express is owned by Leonard Riggio, the founder and executive chairman of the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, who races under the name My Meadowview Farm. He didn’t make his first start until June.

“I had hoped to run him last year, but he had setback after setback,” Attfield said. “You have to go along with what they’re telling you. He was in Florida with me this winter, and I’d kept him nominated to the [Canadian] Triple Crown, hoping he’d come around before the end of it. I always thought he was probably better on turf, with the little bit I was able to do with him in Florida, and I always thought this race was going to be his forte if I could get him there.”

Global Express finally made it to the post here June 2, running seventh in a seven-furlong maiden race on Polytrack, and then finished an encouraging fourth when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles.

Then came the breakthrough move to the grass. Global Express stalked the pace before taking charge and scoring by 8 3/4 lengths, earning a career-high 78 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I’m glad we got to go in that race,” Attfield said. “If he was going to make the Breeders’, that would be the perfect race right there. It wasn’t a big number, but it was the way he won that impressed me.”

Global Express breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 here last Wednesday under jockey Luis Contreras, who has picked up the mount for the Breeders’ Stakes.

“He is progressing,” Attfield said. “He deserves a chance at this.”

Eurico Rosa da Silva has ridden Up With the Birds in his five local outings, and he is sticking with that Sam-Son Farm colt, who will be the favorite in a prospective Breeders’ field of nine.

Go Greeley targets Simcoe Stakes

Da Silva was in the spotlight here Sunday as the rider of Go Greeley, who recorded his second consecutive front-running stakes win when prevailing by a nose over Arlington shipper Heart to Heart in the six-furlong Vandal for Ontario-bred 2-year-olds.

Owned and trained by John Ross, Go Greeley is a nose away from being undefeated in four starts, having lost the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon Stakes for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds by that margin following his debut victory. After that loss, he returned to win the open Colin Stakes at six furlongs last month.

“He did all the work and showed a lot of courage,” said Ross, who watched Go Greeley break alertly from this No. 2 post and fend off a very stubborn Heart to Heat in the $150,000 Vandal. “Da Silva said if we’d had a better post he might have tried to take him back. But if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.”

Go Greeley was a $40,000 purchase at the select session of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s yearling sale last September. The son of Horse Greeley already has banked $250,260, and he could add to that total in the $200,000 Simcoe Stakes, the 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old colts and geldings that is one of six yearling sales stakes scheduled for Aug. 28.

“That’s the tentative plan,” said Ross, who also is pointing Lexie Lou for the $200,000 Muskoka, the 6 1/2-furlong yearling sales stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Lexie Lou, a $5,500 purchase, won an Ontario-sired 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at first asking but then finished eighth of 10 in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well Stakes for Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies July 14.

Adding blinkers for her next start, Lexie Lou finished a solid fourth under regular rider Gary Boulanger when back with Ontario-sired fillies in the six-furlong Nandi Stakes on Aug. 3.

“We took her back off the pace, and she galloped out really good,” Ross said. “That encouraged us, and now she’ll be going a little longer.”

Skylander Girl proving a bargain

One of the leading contenders for the Muskoka is Skylander Girl, who recorded her second stakes win in last Saturday’s $140,000 Ontario Debutante.

A $3,500 purchase at the open session of the local sale, Skylander Girl has earned $218,920. She finished second in her debut but captured the open My Dear Stakes at five furlongs in her second start.

“I turned down over $200,000 for her after she won the My Dear,” said Al Patykewich, her owner and trainer. “She’s not for sale. I got her for my grandkids, and that’s where the money’s going to go.”

Coming back eight days after the My Dear Stakes, Skylander Girl finished fourth as the odds-on choice in the Shady Well.

“It was so hot that day, and I didn’t know what the temperature was going to be this time,” said Patykewich.

As a result, Patykewich treated Skylander Girl with Lasix for the first time prior to the Ontario Debutante.

“I don’t think babies going short need Lasix,” Patykewich said. “But they’re going longer now, and they’re going to get a little more stressed.”

If all remains well through the Muskoka, then Skylander Girl could swing back Sept. 14 in the Natalma, an open one-mile turf race which offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $200,000.

“I definitely want to run her on the grass,” Patykewich said. “She’s bred for it, top and bottom.”

In the meantime, Patykewich’s former one-horse stable has tripled with the addition of recent claims I Kissed You and Quit Worrying.

I Kissed You, claimed for $20,000, is in for a $25,000 tag in a maiden-claiming race here Wednesday evening. Quit Worrying was haltered for $12,500.