Organ Grinder kicks off his belated 4-year-old Canadian campaign in Saturday's $164,400 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III) at 1 1/16 miles.
The classy son of Grindstone
won the 2004 Victoria Park Stakes and Canadian Derby but hasn't raced since a second-place finish to A Bit O' Gold in last October's Ontario Derby.
If trainer Sid Attard had his way, Saturday's 1 1/16-mile event would have been Organ Grinder's final race of 2005, not his first.
Those plans changed earlier this spring when the S and B stable charge fractured a tibia.
Attard says the injury required four months on the sidelines for the five-time winner of $533,473. "We gave him the time off and he's come back 100 per cent."
Even Woodbine's leading trainer (59 wins) isn't certain whether Organ Grinder is fit enough to defeat seasoned rivals like 2003 Queen's Plate champion Niigon or Cryptograph, who have been in action all season.
"I wish he had a race under his belt," admits Attard. "We don't know how tight he is, but he goes two miles every day and he doesn't even know he's gone two miles. He's always been a good-feeling horse that never gets tired."
The Kentucky-bred colt shows three strong training track workouts in the last three weeks, including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:01 3/5 on Nov. 2 and a six-furlong breeze in the mud in 1:14 3/5 on Nov. 7.
Organ Grinder drew post seven in the eight-horse field, which includes Eclipse Stakes winner Honolua Storm, B.C. Derby runner-up Bull Ranch and 2003 Holy Bull Stakes runner-up Powerful Touch, who also makes his 2005 debut.
The Woodbine Slots Cup is slated for race six on the 11-race program, which also includes the 1 ½-mile Valedictory Prep (race seven).$164,400 Woodbine Slots Cup Handicap (Can-III), 3 & up, 1 1/16 miles
1/Niigon/Patrick Husbands/Eric Coatrieux
2/Bull Ranch/Justin Stein/Robert Rohman
3/Habaneros/Robert Landry/Frank Passero Jr.
4/Powerful Touch/David Clark/Robert Frankel
5/Ever So Free/Emile Ramsammy/Abraham Katryan
6/Honolua Storm/Richard Dos Ramos/Roger Attfield
7/Organ Grinder/Jim McAleney/Sid Attard
8/Cryptograph/Todd Kabel/Malcolm Pierce