10/17/2001 11:00PM

Alberta embraces getaway day

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Saturday is getaway day, the end of the racing season here at Northlands Park.

It ends on a nine-race card that includes two high-level allowances races, one at 1 1/16 miles and the other at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The eighth race, to be run at 1 1/16 miles, attracted a field of eight, including stakes winners Red Exit and Tyko Tycoon.

Red Exit won the Herald Gold Plate at Calgary. Tyko Tycoon won the Klondike here in Edmonton.

Another field of eight, including former division champion Timboruck, will contest the seventh race, at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Meanwhile, it was a year that was strong both on talent and at the mutuels. "Wagering has shown an increase over all," said Alan Bott, the track's racing secretary, "though it is slightly down on live racing."

As for the racing, the success of Fancy As is the highlight of Alberta racing this year. A Manitoba-bred 3-year-old and a bargain-basement yearling last year, Fancy As has been simply spectacular.

Fancy As defeated all opposition in the Alberta Derby at Stampede Park, the Canadian Derby at Northlands, and the British Columbia Derby at Hastings Park.

His only loss this year was a second-place finish in the Manitoba Derby behind Stage Classic. He subsequently defeated Stage Classic both at Northlands and Hastings.

Fancy As beat older horses in the B.C. Premier's, boosting his earnings to $548,720 and moving into contention as a Sovereign Award winner. No Alberta-based horse has ever won a Sovereign.

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