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Awesome Overture looks to rebound in Seagram Cup

August 2, 2013

TORONTO, August 2 – Chiefswood Stable’s homebred Awesome Overture seeks his first added-money score in Saturday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Seagram Cup, at Woodbine.
Trained by Paul Attard, the dark bay son of 1997 Queen’s Plate champ Awesome Again arrives at the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ stake off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Dominion Stakes won by well-regarded Delegation.
The Dominion Day setback was the first loss for the lightly-raced Awesome Overture who started his career with three wins routing on the Woodbine main.
"The winner (Delegation) was a monster and we had an inside trip which he really didn’t like," said Attard. "He’d done everything else we had asked up until that point, so we’ll just draw a line through that race and start from scratch."
The colt’s training was interrupted leading into the Dominion Day due to a quarantine placed on Barn 1 (shared by a number of trainers) due to a now-resolved occurrence of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).
"We were just coming out of quarantine which I think set him back farther than we thought," said Attard. "I’ve noticed with my other horses that a lot of them came up short their first start back, but now there’s been enough time and they’ve had enough works, that they’re caught up now. I do think it set us back more than originally thought."
Jesse Campbell retains the mount on Awesome Overture who has trained forwardly for the Seagram Cup including a bullet five-eighths work in 1:01.60 over the Woodbine dirt training track, on July 20.
"He’s training well. He’s had a couple of solid five-panel works," said Attard. "He’s undefeated at the distance so we have that going for us."
A classy colt, Awesome Overture would have been amongst the favourites for the 2012 Queen’s Plate. The dark bay broke his maiden with a decisive 2 3/4-length score over River Rush on April 29, 2012. In his next start, River Rush came back to break his maiden in the Plate Trial.
Unfortunately, Awesome Overture never had the chance to try his luck in the Plate.
"When he broke his maiden he came out of the race with a chip in his knee and had to have surgery to take that out," said Attard.
The colt made his return to racing this April scoring at the first allowance level with a powerful front-running performance as the odds-on choice.
"We gave him enough time to make sure he was ready to come back," said Attard. "He’s a pretty classy horse. He’s a good feeling guy on the track, not very flashy looking, but he likes to train and easy to work around."
On June 9, Awesome Overture completed the hat trick to start his career with a driving score over rival River Rush.
Attard admits that he would have preferred an easier spot for Awesome Overture coming out of the colt’s first defeat.
"There was an allowance race that just wouldn’t fill, but this race has always been in the back of our mind as a backup," said Attard. "It’s tough company, but hopefully it works out."
With Delegation pointed elsewhere, the Seagram Cup is a wide-open wagering event with Dominion Day runner-ups James Street (5-2) and Alpha Bettor (3-1) expected to take much of the action.
The Dominion Day is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. Also featured on Saturday’s card is the Nandi Stakes, a six furlong sprint for two-year-old Ontario-sired fillies. The Nandi is slated as Race 6. Fans can watch and wager on the card via HorsePlayer Interactive.
1 / Perfect Afleet / Tyler Pizarro / Roger Attfield / 20-1
2 / Patrioticandproud / Eurico Rosa Da Silva / Mark Casse / 4-1
3 / Alpha Bettor / Justin Stein / Dan Vella / 3-1
4 / Any Given Royal / Luis Contreras / Brian Lynch / 8-1
5 / Ultimate Destiny / Todd Kabel / Alec Fehr / 6-1
6 / Awesome Overture / Jesse Campbell / Paul Attard / 8-1
7 / Peyton / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Mike Doyle / 10-1
8 / James Street / Gary Boulanger / Josie Carroll / 5-2
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