09/08/2004 11:00PM

Anderson sends Deputy Country, Indy Lead

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Saturday's $40,000 R.J. Speers Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and upward looks like it should be one of the best races of the year.

Trainer Carl Anderson sends out Deputy Country and Indy Lead, who will race as separate betting interests.

Deputy Country, second in this race last year, won three stakes in a row at Northlands Park in Alberta before a poor performance in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in Washington on Aug. 22. Ken Hendricks picks up the mount.

Indy Lead was fifth in the Wheat City Stakes on Aug. 2 in his only local start.

A son of A.P. Indy, Indy Lead has not won since a second-level allowance score at Keeneland in April 2003. He worked a sharp five furlongs in 58 seconds after the races here last Friday. Jason Leacock again gets the call.

Northern Affair, winner of the 2003 R.J. Speers, narrowly held off Smoked Em in the Wheat City before that one got the better of him in an allowance prep at Saturday's distance on Aug. 22.

Northern Affair gets a significant jockey change as leading rider Travis Hightower takes over.

Deputy Country and Northern Affair are expected to duel for the early lead. Indy Lead also does his best running when on the lead early.

Iwoodificould won his first three starts here, including the Free Press, before finishing fourth in the Wheat City and third in the Aug. 22 allowance prep.

Gus Again carries a three-race win streak into the Speers. His most recent victory was against restricted company in the Agassiz Stakes here Aug. 21.

Rounding out the field of 10 are Smoked Em, Minus Three, Sir Pucker, Pinchme, and Prineville.