The course conditions at rainy and foggy Woodbine for the Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) (VIDEO) were miserable for all except Forte Dei Marmi, who gave trainer Roger Attfield his fifth consecutive win in the race July 6.
Under boggy going, 13-10 favorite Forte Dei Marmi split horses in upper stretch to soon get the lead under Joel Rosario. He bounded home 6 1/4 lengths in front in heavy rainfall in 1:41.85 for the 1 1/2-mile marathon on yielding turf. How soft was it? The time was more than 16 seconds off the course mark of 2:25.60 established by Raintrap in 1994.
This was the sixth overall win in the $150,430 Singspiel for the Hall of Famer Attfield, whose runners swept the exacta for the second straight year as Perfect Timber ran on for second. In 2012, 10-year-old Musketier won a stirring stretch battle over Simmard for his third Singspiel victory.
Part of the Queen's Plate undercard, the Singspiel marked a return to form for the Great Britain-bred Forte Dei Marmi, who had lost six straight since winning Woodbine's Sky Classic (Can-IIT) last August. Stella Perdomo's 7-year-old Selkirk gelding turned in two more strong performances at Woodbine, finishing third in both the Northern Dancer and Canadian International (both Can-IT).
But in four races stateside since, including three this year, the bay had been no factor. He was most recently ninth in the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course and was pulled up in his prior start, the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 26. Back at Woodbine, however, Forte Dei Marmi had been working superbly after a break, including three bullet moves since June 9.
Forte Dei Marmi was positioned toward the rear of the nine-horse field in sixth as Fifty Proof and the filly Ardara showed the way with Heathcote and Serious Indeed stalking the leaders. Fractions were predictably slow, a :51.82 half-mile and six furlongs in 1:18.34 as Serious Indeed challenged and moved into the front approaching the mile point (1:45.74) and tried to dictate terms the rest of the way.
Serious Indeed reached the quarter pole in 2:14.53 still in front by a half-length, but Forte Dei Marmi had circled his rivals on the final turn to reach contention. Taking the lead in upper stretch, Forte Dei Marmi quickly took command by 4 1/2 lengths at the furlong mark and proceeded to victory under steady handling from Rosario.
Second choice Perfect Timber, following Forte Dei Marmi into the homestretch, finished best of the rest under Steve Bahen, 3 3/4 lengths in front of Patrioticandproud and Eurico Rosa Da Silva. Serious Indeed faded to fourth, followed by Aldous Snow, Attendant, Heathcote, Fifty Proof, and Ardara.
The inconsistent Forte Dei Marmi won for the eighth time 30 starts and boosted his earnings to $736,156. He was bred by Fittocks Stud out of the Sadlers Wells mare Frangy.
Carrying co-top weight of 122 pounds, the winner paid $4.70, $3.30, and $2.70. Perfect Timber, a 4-year-old Perfect Soul colt making his stakes debut for Attfield and owner/breeder Charles Fipke, returned $4.60 and $2.90 while part of a $31 exacta. Patrioticandproud paid $4.20 to show.
Pool Play was a stewards' scratch.