The rematch is on for Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G2) going an additional furlong at 1 ½ miles.
“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 form.”
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.