09/11/2013 2:39PM

Woodbine notes: Husbands back in the saddle on Friday after May spill

Michael Burns
Michael Burns Jockey Patrick Husbands, who was injured when his horse collapsed May 20, remained active during his recovery and will return to the saddle Friday with two mounts.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Patrick Husbands, who has been on the sidelines since May 20, will return to action Friday.

Husbands had suffered two broken bones in his leg and a fractured ankle when his mount, A Tough Buck, collapsed just past the finish line.

“I’ve been riding for 25 years, and I never got a chance to do some of the things I wanted to do,” said Husbands, who turned 40 just two days after his accident. “I got a chance to go to a lot of places.”

The first place Husbands went following his mishap was his homeland.

“I never stayed in bed; I went straight to Barbados,” Husbands said. “I’ve been working out in the ocean, for 3 1/2 months. Fitness is not a factor.”

Husbands did not return to horseback until Tuesday morning.

“I got on two horses for Mark” Casse, Husbands said. “It felt a little bit strange.”

Husbands also will be getting on two horses for Casse on Friday afternoon.

Daring Delilah, who won once under Husbands last year and five times in 2011, will be seeking her first win of this campaign in the fifth race for $10,000 claiming fillies and mares. Warheart, in the eighth race, will be looking for her second lifetime score in a restricted first-level allowance for fillies and mares.

Husbands was third in the Woodbine standings, with 18 wins, at the time of his spill and still ranks 14th in races won and 13th in money won with $1,019,125.

Saturday’s Natalma field set

Casse also has given Husbands the mount on Madly Truly, one of four horses along with Appreciating, My Conquestadory, and Springlikeacobra whom the trainer has entered in Saturday’s Natalma Stakes.

The Natalma, for 2-year-old fillies, and the Summer, for 2-year-olds, both will be run over one mile of turf and offer Grade 2 status and purses of $200,000.

Both stakes also are Win and You’re In races for their respective Breeders’ Cup events, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

The Natalma attracted one shipper, the Chad Brown-trained Ready to Act, who was a first-out winner over 5 1/2 furlongs of turf at Saratoga.

Appreciating and Springlikeacobra both have won over the local turf course, while Skylander Girl is a two-time stakes winner here on the Polytrack.

Trainer Roger Attfield has a pair for the Natalma in Unspurned, a debut winner over seven furlongs of Polytrack, and Llanarmon, a closing third behind Appreciating in her debut in a seven-furlong turf race.

On Wednesday, Attfield sent out Unspurned to breeze four furlongs in 48.20 seconds on the main track under Justin Stein, who has the return call for the Natalma.

Spanish Flower, beaten a head by Unspurned as the runner-up when also making her debut that day, and Henry’s Island, who is a maiden after three starts, also are on the Natalma list.

Summer draws 10

The news that Due Diligence would not be coming from New York for the Summer caused some scrambling here Wednesday morning, with both My Conquestadory and Spanish Flower cross-entering the two stakes and School On A Hill being supplemented by trainer Wayne Catalano.

Due Diligence, who had been an impressive debut winner over 5 1/2 furlongs of turf at Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown, subsequently was purchased privately by owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier and turned over to Todd Pletcher.

Adrienne Hall, a member of the Pletcher racing team, said that Due Diligence will await Belmont’s Oct. 6 Pilgrim, a Grade 3, $200,000 race at 1 1/16 miles that also is a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Brian Lynch, who conditions Tropic of Artie, had been debating a Summer appearance for owner Jim and Susan Hill’s colt and wound up entering the Pennsylvania-bred.

Tropic of Artie has raced twice, finishing 7 1/2 lengths back when fifth behind leading local 2-year-old Go Greeley in the Colin over six furlongs of Polytrack and then missing by a head in a seven-furlong turf race won by Asserting Bear, who also is in the Summer lineup for trainer Reade Baker.

“He’s definitely turf,” Lynch said. “It looks like he had Reade’s horse covered last time, but he just got beat. The farther he runs, the better he’ll be.”

School On A Hill, winner of his only start over about one mile at Arlington Park, is the other turf winner in the lineup.

Casse has two male entrants for the Summer in Matador and Phenomenalmoon, both of whom will be trying turf for the first time.

Dig Alittle Deeper, coming off a second in the seven-furlong Swynford, will debut on the grass for trainer Nick Gonzalez. Grom, winner of an Ontario-sired maiden dash and then fourth in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon for Ontario-foaled runners, and Go Bro, who ran sixth in his only outing, complete the lineup.

Woodbine Mile TV coverage

Live television coverage of Sunday’s Woodbine Mile will be offered on Sportsnet 360 in a 90-minute show beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Northern Dancer is scheduled to go off as the eighth race, at 4:32 p.m. Eastern, and producer Rob Platts plans to offer the race live without preamble. The Woodbine Mile will go as the 10th of 11 races on the card, at 5:38 p.m.

Jason Portuondo will host the telecast and will be joined by analyst Jim Bannon. Sandy Hawley and Chad Rozema will be roving reporters, Kris Platts will direct, and announcer Dan Loiselle will be in the booth. TVG also will cover the Woodbine Mile card, which is scheduled to begin at 12:50 p.m. and conclude at 6:12 p.m.

The full card also will be streamed live on DRF.com.