5 Furlongs - Kevin Attard
Each week until the end of March, a familiar name in the Woodbine Thoroughbred racing community will be in the spotlight, answering some fun, offbeat questions, giving readers a unique perspective into their personality.
Kevin Attard was once again one of Woodbine’s top trainers in 2021 and a Sovereign finalist for the fourth consecutive year. Attard, son of accomplished local trainer Tino Attard and nephew of prominent Woodbine conditioners Sid Attard and the late Joe Attard and former jockey and trainer Larry Attard, won his first career race on July 12, 2001, at Woodbine with next-out Nandi Stakes winner Jade Eyed and has gone on to win 72 more stakes headed by Starship Jubilee (Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, 2019 and Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, 2020), Canada’s Horse of the Year in the former season. Other highlights have included Munnyfor Ro, the 2021 Woodbine Oaks heroine; Alezzandro, Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales, 2007; and Woodbine multiple graded stakes winners Amalfi Coast, Calgary Cat, and Melmich. As of March 13, he has 575 career wins.
You get to sit down with one person in the industry and talk shop. Who is it and why?
“Obviously, I’m going to go with a trainer. It would be Bill Mott. I’ve met Bill before and had some small conversations with him. He’s been very cordial with me and every time I see him, we exchange hellos. Just to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with him – he’s had such a distinguished career – and pick his brain would be pretty cool.”
The most exciting race you watched at Woodbine as a fan.
“I’m going to say the Breeders’ Cup when it came to Woodbine in 1996. It was one of those moments that I will never forget. The weather, for that time of year, you couldn’t have asked Mother Nature for a better day. The crowd was electric. I was sitting at a spot on the fourth floor, and it was something you can’t really describe. The stands were packed, the crowd was so into it, it was just unbelievable. And then to cap it off with Alphabet Soup winning the Classic, and Mt. Sassafras, with Mickey Walls riding, looking like he had a big chance to upset – it was just a great day of racing. That day will always stick in my mind.”
What goes on the pizza and what stays off?
“As for going on, anything pretty much goes. I love meat, so any type of meat ingredient is good with me. I’m really not opposed to much, but there are two things that definitely can’t go on: mushrooms and anchovies. I don’t like the smell of anchovies, but my dad loves them. Mushrooms, I’ve just never been fan of them for some reason.”
What was your top cartoon to watch as a kid?
“I vividly remember watching The Flintstones. That was kind of the one to watch in my generation, seeing Fred and Barney ripping it up. After school, I would come home, have some mac & cheese, turn on the TV and catch up on The Flintstones before homework time.”
Which non-horseperson do you think would make a good trainer?
“If I’m going to pick an actor, I’m going with Clint Eastwood. He’s very poised, he has a great demeanor, keeps his emotions in check and is very calm and collected. I just think he’d be a very astute horseman. He fits the characteristics of a trainer, who has to face pressure and adversity, and do it in a very calm way.”