05/24/2006 11:00PM

'Bitter' one to catch


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Bitterroot and Lebite each looks to go 2 for 2 at Assiniboia Downs in Saturday's featured sixth race, a third-level allowance with an optional claiming price of $20,000 at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Bitterroot took a first-level allowance in his first local start on May 13 with a strong front-end performance, and should be the dominant speed once again. Bitterroot is trained by Michael Pierce, who had won 8 of 24 races at the meet heading into this weekend, and ridden by Lenny Frazzitta Jr., who is also off to a good start at 7 of 38 going into the weekend. Together, Pierce and Frazzita were 4 for 8 in the early part of the season.

Lebite won a second-level allowance in his first start here on May 12. His connection are also off to a strong start, with trainer Sid Martin having won with 2 of his first 5 entrants at the meet and jockey Rohan Singh sitting at 8 for 45 heading into the weekend.

Trainer Carl Anderson, a winner with 10 of 31 starters at the meet, sends out Resurgent and Simply Regal.

Resurgent was a surprise winner in an open allowance to begin his season on May 7. A 4-year-old Manitoba-bred gelding, Resurgent has won 5 of 11 starts.

Simply Regal started four times last year, finishing second in the open Free Press and restricted Manitoba Maturity in his last two. He makes his first start of the year and has posted bullet works in all six of his drills.

Trainer Clay Brinson, who has started the season 3 for 7, sends out Plenty of Heat, who makes his first start here. He would probably prefer more distance.

The field rounds out with Silver Fury, who was well beaten by Resurgent in his seasonal debut.

* Nominations closed Wednesday for the $40,000 Golden Boy, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds to be run June 3. The nominees are Best and Bold, Dakota Long Legs, Flying Nine Oh, I Am That Is, I Tell U What, Mohawk Chief, N Y Butterfly, Only Royal, Pass the Bar, Paxton Ridge, Quick Witted, Thunderacchi, and Tiger Energy.

* Trainer Becky Welch won for the first time last Saturday with Rocky Royal ($10.90).