09/17/2006 11:00PM

Alberta stakes lure 72 noms

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Seven stakes races for Alberta-breds, worth a collective $400,000 on Saturday's 10th Alberta Fall Classic program at Northlands Park, attracted 72 nominations.

Apilonia heads the list of eight 2-year-old fillies eligible for the $50,000 Sturgeon River. Her trainer, Greg Tracy, has dominated the juvenile stakes this summer with four wins.

Apilonia won the Filly Sales Stakes here Aug. 19, besting Winnipeg invader Gypsophila, who is expected back to renew the rivalry.

Howsitgoinghotshot, winner of the male division of the 2-year-old Sales Stakes here Aug. 19, stretches out to a mile and heads nine nominees to the $50,000 Alberta Premier's Futurity.

Tartan Star and Teagues Flight won their respective divisions of the 3-year-old Sales Stakes going a mile here in their last start and will try 1 1/16 miles in the Alberta Oaks and Beaufort, respectively, with $50,000 purses offered.

The remaining three stakes races will feature defending champions.

Cool Bender heads 11 nominees to the $50,000 Red Diamond Express at 6 1/2 furlongs and should be favored to repeat.

S L Charmer, who upset the Fall Classic Distaff last year, is among 10 nominees to the $75,000 handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

Fuhr Ore upset the favored Beau Brass last year, and both are expected back to do battle in the $75,000 Alberta Breeders' Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.