05/21/2008 11:00PM

Ballintoy has familiar target in Hoofprint


CALGARY, Alberta – Ballintoy takes his next step on the Alberta Derby trail when he faces six other 3-year-olds in the one-mile Hoofprint on My Heart here Saturday.

Ballintoy shares high weight of 122 pounds with Star Prospector, whom he defeated by a half-length in the six-furlong President’s here May 3. After stalking the pacesetting Star Prospector down the backstretch, Ballintoy swung out turning for home under Stephan Heiler to wear down his rival in deep stretch. Star Prospector finished second but was disqualified for interfering with other horses on the first turn.

Ballintoy draws the rail here and the strategy will be similar, with Star Prospector once again expected to set the pace under Quincy Welch. In Ballintoy’s only previous try at a mile, he closed strongly to finish a neck back of Jim’s Choice in the Alberta Premier’s Futurity at Northlands last September.

Trainer Terry Jordan left Star Prospector in the care of leading trainer Stu Simon rather than returning to his Vancouver base, and the gelding sharpened his speed with a bullet five-furlong drill of 58.40 on May 16.

In his only start routing, Star Prospector weakened and drifted out to run third to Royal Hudson in the 1 1/16-mile Ascot Sophomore

Jim’s Choice finished sixth in the President’s but was very fractious in the paddock and on post parade.