09/17/2003 11:00PM

Babies try to go a mile


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A field of 10 Manitoba-bred 2-year-olds will contest Saturday's feature at Assiniboia Downs, the one-mile Buffalo Stakes.

Coal Smudge and Sampo's Fool, both coming off victories in six-furlong CTHS Sales Stakes here Sept. 1, will be looking for their third wins in a row in the $35,000 Buffalo.

Coal Smudge captured the colts and geldings division of the Sales, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 43.

Prior to that, Coal Smudge took the Frank Arnason Sire Stakes, also at six furlongs.

Jason Leacock retains the mount on Coal Smudge, whose style suggests that he will handle this stretchout in distance. He is trained by Caesar De Marni.

Sampo's Fool's win in the filly division of the Sales netted her a Beyer of just 27, but she is an improving sort and also should handle the new distance.

Apprentice rider Shannon Beauregard, who guided Sampo's Fool to her maiden win just three days prior to her Sales score, regains the mount.

Leading rider Travis Hightower, who rode Sampo's Fool in the Sales, will be aboard her uncoupled stablemate Nimble Shank.

Silvertipkiller, second to Coal Smudge in the Sales, is a maiden after two starts but could improve enough to register the upset.

Fancy Bru dominates

Fancy Bru ($2.70) made easy work of eight rival Manitoba-breds in last Sunday's $36,000 J. W. Sifton Stakes and probably wrapped up the Manitoba-bred 3-year-old championship in the process.

A half-brother to multiple stakes winner and champion Fancy As, Fancy Bru opened a clear lead early in the 1 1/8-mile race and set fractions of 23.20 seconds, 48, 1:13.80, and 1:40.80 before drawing out through the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths. The final time was 1:55.20 over a fast track.

Wild Ruler rallied for second, a half-length in front of Quick Chill.

Owned by the partnership of Ed and Jim Pawluk and trainer Gary Danelson, Fancy Bru improved his 2003 record to 3-4-0 from 10 starts, including an earlier stakes win in the Manitoba, for earnings of $83,275.

His next start will probably come against older horses in the $60,000 Gold Breeders' Cup on Sept. 28, the final day of the meeting.