04/30/2008 11:00PM

Ballintoy leads locals vs. invader


CALGARY, Alberta - A full field of 10 3-year-olds, headed by Vancouver shipper Star Prospector, will contest one of the stronger renewals of the $50,000 President's Handicap on Saturday afternoon.

Star Prospector, the top juvenile colt at Hastings last year, will make his 2008 debut in the six-furlong President's as the 122-pound highweight. He will have to overcome the outside post.

Leading rider Quincy Welch will be up and hustling the front-running invader early to gain position in the run to the sharp first turn.

Ballintoy, an impressive allowance winner here April 12, heads the local contingent and has the advantage of a tightener under his belt. Ballintoy, who receives three pounds from Star Prospector, drew post 6 with Stephan Heiler back aboard. His stalking style fits nicely in this crowded field.

Jim's Choice, third to Ballintoy last out, has some tactical speed and is eligible to improve off that even effort in his debut.

Jim's Choice drew post 7 with Dan Boudreau up, while California invader Gone Grand, a likely candidate to contest the early fractions with Star Prospector, drew post 8 with Rico Walcott up.

Nine older horses going a mile in a $40,000 optional claimer provide a interesting secondary feature on the nine-race program.

The field is headed by Alabama Rain, winner of the Canadian Derby three years ago.