TORONTO, August 15, 2019 – Hall of Fame conditioner Roger Attfield will be well represented in both the $100,000 Soaring Free Stakes and the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.
The Soaring Free, a 6-1/2-furlong turf sprint that’s the colt companion event to Saturday’s Catch a Glimpse Stakes for juvenile fillies, features a pair of Attfield trainees, Mr. Hustle and Pleasecallmeback.
Now two-for-two, Mr. Hustle, owned by William Werner, made his added-money debut a winning one in taking the Victoria Stakes by 4-1/4 lengths on July 7.
Bred by V. Gail Ray, Mr. Hustle arrived at the 5-1/2 furlong main track event off an equally impressive score at five panels on June 16. The son of Declaration of War bested his closest rival by 5-1/4 lengths in his career bow.
Now, the dark bay will tackle the turf for the first time.
“I thought it was a really nice race,” said Attfield of the Victoria victory. “He’s coming along quite well. I’m looking forward to running him back this weekend. He’s done everything very well so far. He looks like he has a great future ahead of him.”
Mr. Hustle has put in a series of turf works ahead of the Soaring Free, including his most recent on August 11. The gelding went four furlongs, breezing, in :48-flat.
“This is the next stepping stone up,” offered Attfield. “We’re looking for another good effort from him and then we go from there to the (Grade 1, $250,000, Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’) Summer Stakes (slated for September 15, at Woodbine)…that’s the idea.”
Attfield’s other Soaring Free starter is Pleasecallmeback, a son of Hard Spun.
Just like his stablemate Mr. Hustle, Pleasecallmeback made a strong first impression in his career bow.
On July 21 at Woodbine, the gelding, also owned by Werner, turned a one-length disadvantage at the stretch call into a three-length win in the six-furlong race over the Toronto oval turf.
Bred by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry, the dark bay is doing well ahead of his added-money debut.
“He was very impressive also,” praised Attfield. “Very, very green and needs some racing, but he was able to win that first one quite nicely. I was hoping to separate the two of them if I could, so we’ll have to run them against one another and see where we are.”
The pair does share something in common.
“We bought them on the same afternoon and now they’re going to run the same afternoon this weekend.”
They aren’t the only ones Attfield will have his eyes on this Sunday.
The eight-time Queen’s Plate winner who finds himself 53 wins shy of 2,000 for his illustrious career will also be watching Lacustre, a four-year-old daughter of Dansili, compete in the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes.
There’s one major thing going in the bay’s favour: Attfield has won six editions of the Flaming Page since it was established in 2004.
The Soaring Free is named for the standout Sam-Son Farm homebred, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame six years ago. Trained by Mark Frostad, Soaring Free’s 2004 Horse of the Year season was highlighted by a triumph in Woodbine’s Grade 1, $1 million Atto Mile Stakes and a turf track record effort of 1:19.38 for seven furlongs.
Last year, Wallace ($31.90), under Emma-Jayne Wilson, won the inaugural running of the stakes.
The Soaring Free is slated as race three on Sunday’s 11-race card. Also on tap, the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes (race nine). The race for fillies & mares, three-year-olds and up, will be run at one and one-half miles over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. First post is set for 1:05 p.m.
Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
$100,000 SOARING FREE STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Mr. Hustle – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
2 – Hombrazo – Jesse Campbell – Timothy Hamm
3 – Barilko – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Catherine Day Phillips
4 – Pleasecallmeback – Patrick Husbands – Roger Attfield
5 – Cucina – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
$100,000 FLAMING PAGE STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Decorating – Jerome Lermyte – Thomas Proctor
2 – War Cabinet – Patrick Husbands – Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III
3 – Pamina – Luis Contreras – Michael Dickinson
4 – Summer Luck – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
5 – Lacustre – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
6 – Giovanna Blues – Gary Boulanger – Francine Villeneuve
7 – Ambitious Moon – Steven Bahen – Rachel Halden