Attfield Seeks to Add to Singspiel Dominance

Attfield Seeks to Add to Singspiel Dominance
Photo: Michael Burns
5-2 morning line favorite Forte Dei Marmi is one of 2 Singspiel entries for trainer Roger Attfield.

Since Woodbine Race Course inaugurated the Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) in 2005, the 1 1/2-mile turf has been dominated by trainer Roger Attfield, who will seek to extend his win total to six in  July 7.

Attfield, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame last year, has entered a pair of older horses in this year's Singspiel: 5-2 morning line favorite Forte Dei Marmi and10-1 chance Perfect Timber.

The Woodbine test named after the 1996 North American champion turf horse was first won by Attfield in 2007 with Brazilian-bred Pellegrino. Attfield has won the Singspiel each of the last four years, including three times (2009, 2011-12) with now-retired Musketier and the 2010 running with Spice Route.

Stella Perdomo's Forte Dei Marmi comes into the Singspiel with a record of seven wins in 28 starts, with the 2012 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) the lone stakes triumph for the British-bred son of Selkirk. The 6-year-old has finished third in two Canadian grade I grass stakes, the 2012 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course, and a group III in Great Britain.

Most recently, Forte Dei Marmi was part of the closely bunched finishers in the May 18 Dixie, checking in ninth but only 3 3/4 lengths behind the upset winner Skyring.

Forte Dei Marmi has put in two bullet works in preparation for the Singspiel, with a half-mile in :48 over Woodbine's Polytrack, and a five-furlong turf work in :58 1/5. Previous to the Dixie, Forte Dei Marmi was pulled up by jockey John Velazquez and vanned off following the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. Red-hot U.S.-based jockey Joel Rosario will be aboard the gelding for the first time in the Singspiel as they break from the two post in the 10-horse field.

W. S. Farish's Pool Play, who has earned nearly $1.3 million and won seven of 37 starts with 13 placings during six seasons of competition, is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1 in the Singspiel as the 8-year-old son of Silver Deputy seeks his first win since taking the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) last October. The Mark Casse trainee is coming off three consecutive unplaced efforts, most recently a fifth-place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). In his best race to date, Pool Play circled the field on the outside to just get up in time to win the 2011 Stephen Foster at 37-1.

Installed as the 9-2 third choice is Fifty Proof, who has finished first or second in 12 of 19 starts for owners Kinghaven Farms, John Fielding, and Benjamin Hutzel. The 2011Canadian champion older horse trained by Ian Black pressed the pace before yielding to finish sixth as the 17-10 favorite in Woodbine's Steady Growth Stakes  June 15. The 7-year-old gelding is in search of his first win since the Sir Barton Stakes last December.

Charles Fipke homebred Perfect Timber, is the least experienced of the Singspiel entries, with two wins in three starts and earnings of $30,225, all this year at age 4. The lone filly entered in the race is Robert J. Costigan's homebred Ardara, a lightly raced daughter of Arch   who broke her maiden her fourth career start previous to the Singspiel.

$150,000 Singspiel Stakes (gr. III, race 8, approximate post time 4:18 p.m. EDT), 3YO&UP, 1 1/2 miles, Turf

PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Patrioticandproud (PA), E R DaSilva, 122, M E Casse, 8-1
2. Forte Dei Marmi (GB), J Rosario, 122, R L Attfield, 5-2
3. Heathcoate (ON), E Wilson, 122, P Attard, 10-1
4. Ardara (ON), D Moran, 113, C M Costigan, 15-1
5. Pool Play (ON), L Contreras, 122, M E Casse, 4-1
6. Perfect Timber (ON), S R Bahen, 118, R L Attfield, 10-1
7. Attendant (KY), A O Solis, 118, M R Frostad, 20-1
8. Aldous Snow (ON), J R Velazquez, 118, M Pierce, 6-1
9. Fifty Proof (ON), J Stein, 122, I Black
10. Serious Indeed (ON), T Kabel, 118, A Fehr
 

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