Payson Winner Of The Week
Summer Front didn’t get the kind of pace that a closer typically needs in the 60th running of the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. He almost didn’t get the room, either.
After saving ground along the rail to the top of the stretch, Summer Front found enough of a seam turning for home to unleash his powerful late kick and catch stubborn pacesetter Tetradrachm to win the Fort Lauderdale by three-quarters of a length.
Ridden by Joe Bravo, Waterford Stable’s Summer Front ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.24 on a firm turf course, paying $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite in a field of six. Tetradrachm was a clear second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of Nikki’s Sandcastle. They were followed under the wire by Slumber, Utley, Hierro, Howe Great and defending race champion Mucho Mas Macho.
“If you look at his races, he gets in trouble,” winning trainer Christophe Clement said. “You have to ride him that way, covered up, wait and make one run. Of course, you need a bit of racing luck. He’s got a great turn of foot, as you can see. [Tetradrachm] ran a great race, and he really opened up at the quarter pole. I knew it would take a really good horse to get him, and he’s a really good horse.”
Early in life, Roger Attfield was the sort of kid who would look wistfully out the school window and think of animals, horses or farming. Especially horses.
Obviously, he has a way with them. It's as if he speaks their language, knows how to coax the best out of them. And now the 72-year-old thoroughbred trainer, who is based at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, has received the ultimate reward: He will be inducted into the U. S. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The ceremony will take place Aug. 10 at Saratoga, the mecca of all top horsemen in the United States. And now he belongs there. After winning just about every major race in Canada multiple times, last November he won his first Breeders' Cup race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., with 27-to-1 shot Perfect Shirl.
"I was so happy for him," said Richard Dos Ramos, a Woodbine jockey who has ridden many long-shot winners for Attfield over the years. "He's well deserved of it. He always wanted to get a Breeders' Cup and that was fantastic to see. The filly probably ran the best race of her life at the right time. He makes them peak at the right time.
"When you're coming up to big races like the Queen's Plate, or any type of big race like that, his horses are always usually right there and they seem to step up."
Attfield was born in Newbury, England, where he worked as a show-jumping rider and an amateur steeplechase jockey. He was the son of a coal merchant who didn't have the means to outfit him with ponies to ride, so Attfield got his fix by riding horses for other people.