Updated on 09/16/2011 8:30AM

Big Creek stretch out


CALGARY, Alberta - A conditioned allowance headlines Sunday's eight-race program and drew a field of seven 3-year-olds who all are stretching out to a mile for the first time.

Trainer Dale Saunders will send out Big Creek in the $15,500 race. Quincy Welch will ride Big Creek, a long-striding son of Chapel Creek who closed strongly sprinting two weeks ago to dead-heat for second.

The additional two furlongs should suit Big Creek, an Alberta-bred gelding whose best races have come from just off the pace.

Timely Half breaks from post 2, just inside of Big Creek, and is the likely pacesetter in a field otherwise devoid of early speed.

Timely Half, a gelding from Joan Petrowski's stable, is undefeated and untested in two career starts.

Petrowski, enjoying her best spring ever, sent out Timely Half to a $31 upset win over $6,000 maidens on opening weekend and then watched him draw off to an easy seven-length score a month later against $15,000 claimers in a nonwinners-of-two sprint.

Timely Half, an Oregon-bred son of Live at the Half, has easily paid off his modest purchase price and moves up once again with Stephan Heiler replacing the suspended Rickey Walcott in the irons. He faces a stern challenge to hold off Big Creek, and concedes three pounds to his rival as co-highweight at 120 pounds.

Petrowski, who was in a three-way tie for second place in the trainer standings heading into the weekend, sent out 12 winners in the first 32 days of action. Walcott was aboard for the first seven before receiving a pair of three-day suspensions.

Walcott has 38 wins but will not resume riding until next Friday, and Welch has been steadily cutting into his lead.

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