06/29/2011 12:31PM

Assiniboia: Golden Stripe seeks Canada Day repeat

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Golden Stripe, winner of last year’s running of the Canada Day at Assiniboia Downs, will be solidly backed to repeat when she faces seven rivals in Friday’s renewal of the $30,000 stakes for fillies and mares.

The one-mile Canada Day will go as the seventh race on a nine-race card that begins at 1:15 p.m. Central.

Golden Stripe, a Manitoba-bred 5-year-old who races for owner/breeder Phil Kives and is trained by Shelley Brown, had finished a close second in last year’s six-furlong La Verendrye before capturing the Canada Day by 1 3/4 lengths.

This year, Golden Stripe finished third in the 5 1/2-furlong prep for the La Verendrye and then prevailed by 3 1/4 lengths in front-running fashion in the main event.

Chris Husbands retains the mount on Golden Stripe, who will break from post 6.

Ruby’s Big Band, a beaten choice when making her local seasonal bow in the La Verendrye, will be looking to make amends for trainer Charlie Smith in the Canada Day.

Owned by Terry Propps, Ruby’s Big Band was making her first local start against older fillies and mares this season after dominating the sophomore division in 2010.

Rohan Singh retains the mount on Ruby’s Big Band, who drew the outside post.

Also meriting respect is Colony Queen, who won the La Verendrye prep and then finished a rallying second in the stakes itself.

Colony Queen, who is owned by Barry and Rhett Arnason and is trained by Chad Torevell, has never won a stakes race but appears to be in the best form of her career at age 7.

Mark Anderson returns aboard Colony Queen from post 7.

Rounding out the field, in post order, will be Exploding Crystals, Haggai, Witch’s Coven, Mistress Bell, and Mom’s A Trapper.

If there is an upsetter amongst this group then Haggai would be the most logical candidate.

Purchased privately this spring, Haggai defeated Colony Queen when making her local bow under second-level allowance terms in a five-furlong dash on May 13 and then showed late life when fourth in the La Verendrye.

Janine Stianson again gets the call.