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Atto Mile Entries

Guest drawmaster NASCAR driver Geoffrey Bodine (right) and race sponsor John Atto (left) with the Atto Mile trophy.

Dateline: 9/11/03


Some of the best turf milers in the world will compete Sunday at Woodbine in the Grade 1 Atto Mile (formerly the Woodbine Mile). With a purse of $1 million (Canadian) guaranteed, the seventh renewal has attracted a fine field of 11 and some of the top jockeys in North America including Jose Santos and Pat Day.

Several of the entrants are hot prospects for the Breeders' Cup Mile in October at Santa Anita. In 1999 the race yielded its first Breeders' Cup Mile winner when Silic moved forward off a 5th place finish in the Atto Mile while the first two runnings gave a 2nd place finisher (Geri, 1997) and 3rd place finisher (Labeeb, 1998). 2000 yielded a 4th place finish by Affirmed Success while 2002 Atto winner Good Journey finished 3rd in the Breeders' Cup Mile. The race has quickly become a major prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile despite its short history.

Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando will be trying his luck against the older horses fro the first time in the Atto Mile..
This year the lukewarm favorite is Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando with morning line odds of 5-2. Although 3-year-olds don't have a very good record in this race, Wando comes into the race with good credentials including a win and second in two tries on the turf and a break in the weights. Trainer Mike Keogh said, "He gets in with 114 (pounds) which I think is a big bonus since he's been lugging 126 around. It also gives us an idea of whether we should be going into the Breeders' Cup Mile or Breeders' Cup Classic. I think the Classic is going to be one of the toughest ones ever. Hopefully, this will give us a line on where he should be."

2001 Atto winner Numerous Times is back to try and become the first two-time winner.
2001 Atto Mile winner Numerous Times is back for a second try this year. When he drew post 6, a big cheer came up from his connections' table, as that is the same post he had when he won in 2001. He came out of that race undefeated in 6 starts, but hasn't won since due to a string of bad luck from wrenched ankles to almost dying of colic. As trainer Sid Attard said, "You could write a big book about Numerous Times." He will be without regular rider Patrick Husbands for the first time as he will be riding Wando. Gary Stevens wass expected to ride him, but has had to cancel due to the long trip possibly aggravating his back injury.

This year the race will only be televised live on SportsNet in Canada from 4:30pm to 5:30pm EDT Sunday. If you can't get that in your area, you can also watch it live online from Woodbine. Past performances will be available free from BRIS but only on Saturday as the Race of the Day or you can pick them up from this forum post.

Post positions were drawn Thursday and here is this year's field:

HorseWeightTrainerJockey M/L 
 1 Sarafan121 Neil DrysdaleCorey Nakatani7-2
 2 Freefourinternet117 Joan ScottRobby Albarado30-1
 3 Touch of the Blues119 Neil DrysdaleKent Desormeaux4-1
 4 Perfect Soul121 Roger AttfieldJose Santos6-1
 5 Wando114 Michael KeoghPatrick Husbands5-2
 6 Numerous Times117 Sid AttardJono Jones30-1
 7 Moonshine Hall112 Tony ReinstedlerPat Day30-1
 8 Chopinina116 Alec FehrRichard Dos Ramos15-1
 9 Wake At Noon119 Abraham KatryanEmile Ramsammy30-1
10 Tap the Admiral121 Del Carroll IIMike Luzzi20-1
11 Soaring Free121 Mark FrostadTodd Kabel5-1

Please check back on Sunday evening for photos, results, and comments on the race.

The well travelled Sarafan is second choice in the morning line at 7-2. He was 2nd in the Japan Cup and 4th in the Hong Kong Cup, then returned home to California where he won the Harry F. Brubaker Handicap at Del Mar."
Atto Mile and Canadian racing links:

All photos ©2003 Cindy Pierson Dulay.

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