Roger Attfield knows a thing or two about winning races. Of the seven excellent equines to have won the Canadian Triple Crown, three were trained by Attfield. The Berkshire-born conditioner is a winner of twenty Canadian Triple Crown races and he holds or equals the record for most wins in each of the three races. Attfield captured an amazing 14 stakes events at Woodbine in 2009 and in 2010 he's creating a stir at Saratoga where he notched his second stakes victory of the young meet when Miss Keller ran off in Wednesday’s $70,000 De La Rose Stakes.
Roger Attfield at the Queen's Plate draw
As Be Fair led the De La Rose field through fast fractions of 23.88 and 47.22, as jock Javier Castellano held a patient Miss Keller in seventh position. Though Miss Keller would rally awkwardly wide through the turn into the stretch, the Three Chimneys filly was full of run when asked and held off a late rallying Keertana by a length in a time of 1:34.88 over an inner turf course rated as good.
The win keeps Attfield's perfect In-The-Money percentage intact through three starts as the trainer finished first and third in last Wednesday’s G2 Lake George with Perfect Shirl and No Explaining respectively.
Attfield hopes to continue his Spa stakes magic in the John's Call Stakes on Friday with Perfect Shower. To see the entries, please click here.
Perfect Shower hopes to shine brightest at the Spa on Friday
Three Chimney's owner Robert Clay was thrilled with Miss Keller's effort in the De La Rose.
“That was an impressive turn of foot,” said Robert Clay. “She has been close, but this is perhaps her best race. We were trying to find a mile race. Obviously, Roger [Attfield] has been having good luck here.”
Roger Attfield horsin' around on the Woodbine backstretch
Joe Miller, assistant racing manager for Three Chimneys, was quick to point out a bit of training genius from Attfield who had Miss Keller racing in quirky protective eye cups.
“In her last race, she got a little kick back in her eye," explained Miller. "She got a clump of grass in her eye. It's possibly the reason she didn't win that Grade 2 race in Canada. She had a little bit of a cut on her eye. Roger usually comes out with some interesting head gear. He always has something new. He's innovative. That was Roger being an incredibly good trainer. Roger thinks outside the box. That's why he has the horses. He's a great trainer."
To watch video of the race, please click here.
Ultimately, the combination of the six-wide turn into the stretch and the over sized goggles made for an ugly win - but then it's winning that counts, which reminds me of a very famous quote by former Leicester City football manager Ian Holloway after overseeing a particularly ugly win over Chesterfield.
"To put it in gentleman's terms if you've been out for a night and you're looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they're good looking and some weeks they're not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She wasn't the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let's have a coffee"
Thank You Ian Holloway for that lesson in awkwardness!
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The gorgeous Grazettes Landing captured Wednesday's $126,200 Shepperton Stakes at Woodbine for the Melnyk Racing Stables. Trained by Mark Casse, and ridden to victory by Corey Fraser, the five year-old re-rallied in the stretch to win the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired runners.
Grazettes Landing winning at Woodbine earlier this meet
Grazettes Landing left the gate in a hurry hitting the quarter in :23.05 and although Paso Doble would pass-o Fraser and charge, the Casse trainee found another gear and rallied to win by three quarters of a length in 1:16.16. Gypsy Ring closed for place in front of Dancer's Bajan.
Fraser was thrilled with the opportunity to hop aboard the Melnyk equinaut.
"He kicked on," said Fraser. "I'd like to thank Eugene (Melnyk) for having the confidence to put me on this horse tonight, as well as all the other rocket ships I get to ride."
Grazettes Landing lifts off in the Shepperton Stakes
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So, you think you can dance Chantal?
Internet rumours abound that Woodbine's own Chantal Sutherland is on the also eligible list for the hit TV show Dancing With The Stars. Following a Tweet by MiBred Claimer that reported "Chantal Sutherland just said in a HRTV interview that she's on the "also eligible" list for an upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars.", the news quickly spread to a Dancing With The Stars forum.
If Chantal is looking for a dance partner, she should look no further than west coast sensation Zenyatta who has been known to put down a few moves on the racetrack. Check out the excellent video below Zenyatta dancing at the Breeders'Cup
Everybody dance now..
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In case you missed it over the long weekend, Goldikova made it a perfect ten Group 1 victories with a dominant performance in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville on Sunday.
The supermare was bidding to emulate the great Miesque as the only European-trained horse to have won ten times in the highest grade since the introduction of the Pattern in the 1970s - and she did it in sensational style.
Goldikova glorious in Prix Rothschild at Deauville
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There are three stakes races on tap at Woodbine this weekend including the Duchess Stakes on Saturday and the G3 Seagram Cup as well as the Nandi Stakes on Sunday.
Keep Sharp Secretary in your notes on Saturday
The field for the Duchess Stakes - 3YO Fillies - 7F on the poly
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Zinn House Doll (FL) C Fraser 114 R J Biamonte 15/1
2 Red Hot Buddha (KY) P Husbands 120 T M Amoss 2/1
3 Kitty in a Tizzy (KY) C Sutherland 114 H J Bond 12/1
4 Sharp Secretary (NY) E R Da Silva 114 L Richards 3/1
5 Simply Spiteful (KY) J C Jones 114 M J Trombetta 10/1
6 Chantilly Nayla (KY) E Wilson 114 W M Catalano 6/1
7 Derwin's Star (FL) L Contreras 114 S Klesaris 5/2
8 Manx Miss (KY) E Ramsammy 114 T Stack 20/1
Grape lovin' Field Commission won't whine about stretching out on the poly
The field for the G3 Seagram Cup. 3YO+ 1 1/16M on the poly
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 Eagle Poise (KY) L Contreras 117 W I Mott
2 Field Commission (ON) E R Da Silva 117 D J Vella
3 Stunning Stag (ON) E Wilson 117 S C Attard
4 Sand Cove (ON) R A Dos Ramos 121 R L Attfield
5 Pool Play (ON) P Husbands 117 M E Casse
The field for the Nandi Stakes - 2YO Fillies - 6F on the poly
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 Olivia's Song (ON) E Ramsammy 114 L Silvera
2 Tree Pose (ON) J C Jones 116 W Tharrenos
3 Our Darrilyn (ON) R C Landry 114 S Attard
4 Sava River (ON) L Contreras 114 R Gerl
5 La Donna Mobile (ON) E Wilson 114 B J Minshall
6 Lucky Be Me (ON) R A Dos Ramos 116 W Tharrenos
7 Wheres the Bedroom (ON) S R Bahen 116 R Armata
8 Shadowsinthenight (ON) J McAleney 116 H K Gensler
9 Nautical Queen (ON) C Sutherland 114 A Cameron
10 Posh Sox (ON) E R Da Silva 116 M Pierce
11 Bubbles to the Top (ON) P Husbands 116 M P De Paulo
Keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into my Woodbine News page where you will stories of Soverign Award winner Janine Stianson, Woodbine stakes previews and the latest on Zenyatta's upcoming race at Del Mar.