Roger Attfield and William Werner’s 7-year-old Simmard and James Karp’s
4-year-old Newsdad finished one-two, separated by a neck in the $150,000
Mac Diarmiada Stakes (G2) going 1 3/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Feb.
The rematch is on for Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G2) going an additional furlong at 1 ½ miles.
Jockey Patrick Husbands will be aboard Simmard for trainer and co-owner
Roger Attfield, who has trained him throughout his career but purchased
him privately with Werner last spring during the Keeneland. The
chestnut son of Dixieland Band has now earned more than $500,000 with
the Mac Diarmida being his first graded stakes victory.
“He simply got better with age as some do,” said Attfield. “It’s really
just been the last year to year-and-a-half that he found his best
The veteran horseman has previously won the Pan American twice with
Selous Scout in 1985 and Carotene in 1988. A Canadian Hall of Fame
member, Attfield is a nominee for induction into the Saratoga Hall of
Fame this year.
Simmard ran a couple of big races in major stakes last year finishing
second by a neck to Wigmore Hall in the Northern Dancer Stakes (G1) at
Woodbine in September and second by a half-length behind
Attfield-trained stablemate Musketier in the W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2)
at Calder on Nov. 26 in his last start before the Mac Diarmida.
Jockey Julien Leparoux gets the return call on Newsdad for Hall of Fame
horseman Bill Mott, who has won the Pan American four times previously
with Silver Whistle in 2006, Fraise (twice) in 1994-95 and Phantom
Breeze in 1991. Newsdad is a Kentucky homebred by Arch and was an
impressive 6 ¾ lengths allowance winner over the course at 11 furlongs
on Jan. 28 before the Mac Diarmida.
Newsdad was briefly under consideration for a chance in one of the
Triple Crown races early last year when he finished a close-up fourth in
the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) on Polytrack at Keeneland, but showed little
finishing eighth in Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in May.
Mott has a second contender entered in the field of six drawn for the
53rd Pan American with Hiram Polk, Jr. and David Richardson’s 5-year-old
Kentucky homebred Harrods Creek and jockey Jose Lezcano named to ride.
A son of Langfuhr, Harrods Creek finished a good third behind
Boisterous in the 11-furlong Red Smith Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct in
early November and finished second by a head in the Valedictory Stakes
going 1 ¾ miles on Polytrack at Woodbine last out on Dec. 4.
Trainer Chad Brown has Amerman Racing Stable’s 5-year-old Center
Divider in with a chance and Joe Bravo named to ride. The chestnut son
of Giant’s Causeway finished fourth behind Simmard and Newsdad in the
Mac Diarmida, but has run some big races in long-distance graded turf
stakes, including a half-length loss when second in the 11-furlong
Bowling Green Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park in September.
Completing the field are Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Cause of
Freedom, Edgar Prado; and Marc Keller’s Hailstone, Joe Rocco, Jr.