07/19/2005 11:00PM

Brite Steel sharp enough to get mile


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Brite Steel is the likely favorite in Friday's $6,000 Mademoiselle Handicap for fillies and mares at Marquis Downs. The Mademoiselle is run at a mile, and while that may be just beyond Brite Steel's best distance, her wins in the six-furlong Matron on June 24 and in a seven-furlong allowance prep July 8 suggest she is in top form.

Brite Steel paid $20.10 when she won the Matron, where she tracked Danzig Ballerina until the quarter pole and was first to benefit when that one blew the turn. Two weeks ago, Brite Steel wired the field in the prep race and, once again, it appears that she could have it all her own way on the engine in the Mademoiselle.

She's Nifty was second by daylight to Brite Steel in the allowance prep and was a lackluster sixth when well-backed in the Matron. She's Nifty, winner of the first allowance race for this division this meeting, has shown some speed and will need to remain within striking distance of Brite Steel if she is to turn the tables.

Picture the Answer does her best running at a mile or longer and won this race last year. Picture the Answer ran third in the Matron before finishing fourth in the recent prep, and would benefit from a contested pace.

Bonnie Bo, now 8 years old and a confirmed claimer, ran a solid second in the Matron. Bonnie Bo then came back to wire $3,200 claiming mares on July 16 and may be the pace threat the closers are looking for.

* Serge Rocheleau leads the rider standings moving into the second half of the meet with 19 victories, one more than Tim Moccasin in second.

In the trainer standings, Don Bjarnason has overcome a slow start and now leads with 12 wins from 36 starts. Arlene Flegel is next with eight wins.