Guest drawmaster NASCAR driver Geoffrey Bodine (right) and race sponsor John Atto (left) with the Atto Mile trophy.
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..
2001 Atto winner Numerous Times is back to try and become the first two-time winner.
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:
| Post |
|Horse||Weight||Trainer||Jockey|| M/L |
|1||Sarafan||121||Neil Drysdale||Corey Nakatani||7-2|
|2||Freefourinternet||117||Joan Scott||Robby Albarado||30-1|
|3||Touch of the Blues||119||Neil Drysdale||Kent Desormeaux||4-1|
|4||Perfect Soul||121||Roger Attfield||Jose Santos||6-1|
|5||Wando||114||Michael Keogh||Patrick Husbands||5-2|
|6||Numerous Times||117||Sid Attard||Jono Jones||30-1|
|7||Moonshine Hall||112||Tony Reinstedler||Pat Day||30-1|
|8||Chopinina||116||Alec Fehr||Richard Dos Ramos||15-1|
|9||Wake At Noon||119||Abraham Katryan||Emile Ramsammy||30-1|
|10||Tap the Admiral||121||Del Carroll II||Mike Luzzi||20-1|
|11||Soaring Free||121||Mark Frostad||Todd Kabel||5-1|
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."
All photos ©2003 Cindy Pierson Dulay.
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