Wando Turns in Low-Key Work for Atto Mile

(from Woodbine notes)
It was a low-key morning work for Canadian Triple Crown champion Wando, but rider Patrick Husbands still had plenty of reasons to be geared up for what lies ahead.

Canada's newest Thoroughbred hero went five furlongs in 1:02, breezing, over Woodbine's turf training track on Sunday morning, a solo effort that had Husbands plenty satisfied.

"Wando worked very nicely, we just let him do what he wanted to do," said Husbands, of the 3-year-old colt, whose next test will likely come at Woodbine in the form of the $1-million Atto Mile on Sept. 14 for owner Gus Schickedanz. "He was just his usual self which is a very good sign."

While the striking chestnut didn't have to overextend himself, Husbands, currently ranked second in the Woodbine riding colony with 89 wins through Aug. 23, was thoroughly impressed with Wando's winning attitude in the work.

"We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope he continues to be at the top of his game," he said. "And Wando is at his best. He still knows he's the champion. Mike (trainer Keogh) just told me to go 5/8ths. His ears were pricked down the lane and he was in good shape. When we came back, he wasn't even blowing."

Husbands, who will be looking for his second Atto Mile score, having won the 2001 edition aboard Numerous Times, knows full well that Wando's work will be in stark contrast to the competition that awaits in one of the world's foremost turf events.

"The Atto Mile always comes up tough with great, talented horses. It was just a walk over the turf this morning. Wando was happy. That's all that matters."