09/10/2009 11:00PM

Alberta Fall Classic looking good


With 82 horses nominated to next Saturday's Alberta Fall Classic, it isn't surprising that racing secretary Jason Teague was unable to fill an upper-priced claiming race or allowance race to use as the feature at Northlands Park Sunday. The Fall Classic is made up of seven stakes races limited to Alberta-breds, and is perhaps the highlight of the meet. It will be tough to top the standing-room-only crowd that showed up for the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby won by Tommy Danzigger, however.

The seven races are worth $50,000 each. Cool Ventura, upset winner over Approval Rating in the $100,000 Speed to Spare last Sunday, heads the list of 11 horses nominated to the Alberta Breeders Handicap for 3-year-olds and up. Approval Rating, trained by Cody Anderson, could be vulnerable as he is shortening up from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/16 miles.

* Proud Runner drops into a softer spot when she runs in a $7,500 claiming race for fillies and mares at Northlands Park Sunday. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew eight horses and goes as the seventh eighth race.

Proud Runner was sent off as the 9-5 favorite when she finished fifth in a $13,000 claiming race on Aug. 13 and should appreciate the class relief. In her previous start she scored an impressive six-length win in a $7,500 nonwinners-of-three claiming race on Aug. 15. She was claimed out of the race by trainer Rod Cone, who was acting on behalf of Esquire Stables Ltd.

Tornado Valley has won three of her last four starts and looked sharp winning a $5,000 claiming race over Ribbon Creek on Aug. 28.