Ellie-Boje Farm’s homebred Rahy's Attorney won the Connaught Cup Stakes (Can-IIIT) back in 2008 and missed by a head a year ago, and now the millionaire 6-year-old is back for another try as the expected favorite in the $150,000 turf sprint May 30 at Woodbine.
A field of 12 was drawn for the seven-furlong sprint, with Rahy’s Attorney sharing top weight of 123 pounds with Field Commission and Jungle Wave. Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield, a three-time winner of the Connaught Cup, entered four starters, including Society's Chairman, who was runner-up to Rahy’s Attorney in 2008 and third in 2009.
Rahy’s Attorney was in position to win his second straight Connaught Cup last year when he took a two-length advantage into the stretch, but the gelding was caught at the wire by Sterwins. The resilient son of Crown Attorney came back to score in the King Edward Handicap (Can-IIT) and Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) in his next two starts and closed out his successful campaign with a 3-2-0 record from seven starts.
The Ian Black trainee has raced twice in 2010, most recently missing by a head in the Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 20 at Gulfstream Park.
Overall, Rahy’s Attorney is 10-5-4 from 28 starts for earnings of $1,569,136. Bred in Ontario, he is out of the Rahy mare Rahy’s Hope. The bay is also co-owned by Read Peters and Jean and Jim MacLellan.
Breaking from post 2, he will be ridden by James McAleney for the first time.
Edward Seltzer and Daniel Vella’s Field Commission scored his biggest victory on the Woodbine lawn a year ago in the grade II Nearctic Stakes, a six-furlong contest. He was also a solid runner-up in the seven-furlong Play the King (Can-IIT) last season in Canada and has failed to hit the board just once in four turf starts. Vella trains the 5-year-old son of Service Stripe, who was fourth last out in the May 9 Vigil Stakes (Can-III) on Polytrack. Eurico Rosa Da Silva will ride.
Tucci Stables’ Jungle Wave won the aforementioned Play the King in 2009 as the favorite, but has not made the winner’s circle since. The 5-year-old Hold That Tiger gelding was fourth in an allowance sprint at Woodbine May 15 in his season debut.
Charles Fipke and George Waud’s Society’s Chairman missed by a half-length in the 2008 Connaught Cup and was only 1 1/2 lengths back in third last year. He has won twice in eight attempts since the latter, including the Appleton when getting up just in time to best Rahy’s Attorney. On April 9, Society’s Chairman finished a solid third in the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Jono Jones will ride for Attfield.
Attfield’s other entrants are 5-year-old Jimmy Simms, winner of the one-mile Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine last fall, which was his most recent start; French-bred gelding Passager, who is still seeking his first win in North America after seven starts; and Not Bourbon, an allowance victor on Woodbine’s Polytrack May 12 and a winner of five of his last six starts. This would be Not Bourbon’s turf debut.
$150,000 Connaught Cup (Can-IIIT, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), 4 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Niagara Thunder (ON), J Stein, 117, D C MacRae
2. Rahy's Attorney (ON), J McAleney, 123, I Black
3. Society's Chairman (ON), J C Jones, 121, R L Attfield
4. Field Commission (ON), E R Da Silva, 123, D J Vella
5. Successful Mission (KY), L Contreras, 115, W I Mott
6. Jimmy Simms (KY), R C Landry, 119, R L Attfield
7. Passager (FR), R C Landry, 117, R L Attfield
8. Jungle Wave (KY), C Sutherland, 123, S C Attard
9. Major Marvel (KY), E Ramsammy, 117, L Silvera
10. Cherokee Heaven (KY), G Olguin, 117, M F Jones
11. Grand Adventure (KY), P Husbands, 117, M R Frostad
12. Not Bourbon (ON), J C Jones, 117, R L Attfield