09/01/2004 11:00PM

Bird of Pay to decide filly title

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Saturday's Bird of Pay Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Northlands shapes up as a battle between stakes winners Miss Venturous and R Lucinda. The province's divisional honors figure to be decided in this 6 1/2-furlong sprint, which attracted a field of 10.

Miss Venturous, a Florida-bred who is 2 for 2, including a seven-length victory in the Princess Margaret, will head three entrants from trainer Greg Tracy's stable and drew post 5 with Leanne Painter her rider.

R Lucinda comes into her first meeting with Miss Venturous with two victories in three starts, including a front-running triumph in the Filly Sales Stakes. She appears to be disadvantaged by her draw of the outside post. Owned by Red Troll Racing Stable, R Lucinda was beaten in a $20,000 claimer in her first start, and then won a maiden special weights affair before winning the Filly Sales Stakes, which was at Saturday's distance.

Trainer Stuart Simon has named Richard Hamel to ride R Lucinda.

Maid for Speed, one of two invaders in the field, was second in two stakes at Assiniboia Downs, the Debutante and the Winnipeg Futurity. Shannon Beauregard rides.

Coming from Vancouver is the Steve Henson-trained Montero, with Chris Loseth aboard.

Miss Venturous will be coupled with Nessarose (Real Simard to ride), with both being owned in part by the Donver Stable.