07/30/2008 12:00AM

Bird of Pay opens big weekend


EDMONTON, Alberta – Bodgits Lady, winner of the Princess Margaret here July 11, heads a field of nine in Friday evening’s Bird of Pay to kick off a holiday weekend at Northlands Park that features stakes races on four straight days.

The Bird of Pay, for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs, offers a $50,000 purse plus some serious Alberta-bred bonus money – $28,650 for first, $11,938 for second, and $7,162 for third.

Bodgits Lady, one of five Alberta-breds entered, is the only double winner in the field. She benefited from a perfect trip under Jake Barton in the six-furlong Princess Margaret, splitting horses entering the final turn and drawing off. Trainer Doug MacDonald will run Bodgits Lady on Lasix for the first time and gives the return call to Barton, who breaks the daughter of Captain Bodgit from post 5, an ideal draw for another stalking trip.

Curls and Pearls, bet down to even money in the Princess Margaret after an impressive maiden victory, was a closing third to Bodgits Lady after a wide trip and should appreciate the added ground here.

Hastings invader Dancefourseven remains a maiden after four starts but has earned strong Beyers in her last two outs in Vancouver. She should be forwardly placed early after breaking from post 3 under Pedro Alvarado.

Trainer Greg Tracy saddles three fillies, and Dandy Dora may be the one to catch after a visually impressive victory going 3 1/2 furlongs on July 18.