08/03/2003 11:00PM

Beau Brass gets best of Rindanica

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EDMONTON, Alberta - After knocking on the door in his previous two trips along the Canadian Derby trail, Beau Brass finally knocked it down here last Saturday in the $40,000 Count Lathum following a spectacular battle down the lane with favorite Rindanica.

The question before the race was which of the five entrants would best handle the 1 5/16-mile distance, and Beau Brass answered the call with a near perfect trip.

Breaking from the gate in second behind early leader Reb's Drummer, Beau Brass and jockey David Wilson stalked the pace before making their move in the final turn. Beau Brass hit the top of the lane in front by a head and was not to be denied down the lane.

With the victory, Beau Brass is now certain to start in the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby Aug. 23.

"The distance in the derby will be no problem at all," said Wilson.

After winning his last two starts, Rindanica looked sharp again despite the fact he couldn't overtake Beau Brass. After spending much of the race seven lengths off the pace, the Kentucky-bred Rindanica made his customary late charge, and despite the loss proved he could handle the distance.

"He ran his race and showed he can go that far," said jockey Perry Winters. "He relaxed really nice out there and he'll be even more ready for the derby."