07/01/2005 12:00AM

Bleu Royale steps up off victory


EDMONTON, Alberta - Bleu Royale, a wire-to-wire winner for $25,000 last time out, seeks a second straight victory in Sunday's $32,000 optional claiming feature at 6 1/2 furlongs at Northlands Park.

Chris McGregor received the return mount on Bleu Royale, who will face four other 3-year-olds.

Bleu Royale, trained by Stuart Simon, started the season with a close second-place finish in an allowance dash.

Greg Tracey will send out Smudgeledo, with Quincy Welch up. Smudgeledo won his debut this spring by 7 1/2 lengths, but has been a beaten favorite in three of his four subsequent outings.

Pipe in Spector won a maiden special weight May 1, which prompted trainer Dale Saunders to try him in the Hoofprint on My Heart. He was a well-beaten fourth in that one-mile handicap.

Bearbiscuit also has had stakes experience. Dale Greenwood tested him in the President's Handicap, where he finished fourth. On opening day at Northlands, Bearbiscuit was up the track in an optional claimer.

Out Cattin' launched this campaign by beating $17,500 claimers, and has since recorded a second for $24,000 and a pair of thirds in optional-claiming company.

In a single start as a 2-year-old, Thisistheman won his maiden against the $10,000 kind. This season saw him open with a second-place finish for $17,500, followed by a third in an optional claimer.