07/19/2006 12:00AM

Brite Steel must be caught


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Brite Steel, just a nose away from being perfect in four starts this year, tops the $6,000 Mademoiselle Handicap for fillies and mares here at Marquis Downs on Friday.

A winner of 12 of her 36 starts, Brite Steel has three allowance wins in 2006, one each at a half-mile, six furlongs, and at Friday's seven-furlong distance. Brite Steel's only blemish on the season was when she was caught in the final strides of the six-furlong Early's Farm & Garden Handicap here June 23.

A confirmed front-runner, Brite Steel does her best running at shorter distances, but if she gets an uncontested lead she will be tough to catch.

Sit Tight will be stalking Brite Steel, whom she nailed at the wire in the Early's for her only score on the year. Sit Tight forced the pace when she finished behind Brite Steel in the three allowance races.

Celtic Dance, Picture the Answer, and She's Nifty figure to make their presence felt late in the field of eight.

Celtic Dance, the province's top mare in 2005, is winless in three 2006 starts but closed well to miss by a neck last time out. A winner of three races last year, all at a mile or longer, Celtic Dance should be nearing a peak effort.

Picture the Answer won the Mademoiselle last year when it was run over a mile. Winless in three starts this year, Picture the Answer missed by nose last time out to Brite Steel.

She's Nifty appreciates longer distances and gets the services of leading rider Tim Moccasin. A stakes winner here in past seasons, She's Nifty was second in the slop to Brite Steel when running six furlongs on June 9 for her only placing from four starts in 2006.