06/21/2007 11:00PM

Candid Remark still going strong


EDMONTON, Alberta - An evenly matched group of veteran campaigners, each looking for his first win of the season, take center stage Sunday in a $40,000 optional claimer here at Northlands Park.

Leading the way in the one-mile feature is Candid Remark, a 9-year-old gelding who is trained by Don Gilkyson. Candid Remark won three races last season, including the Alberta Breeders' Handicap, and earned $100,416. A pair of lackluster performances in the Stampede Sprint Championship and Teeworth Plate to start this season may have set off some warning bells that Candid Remark's best days were behind him. But, Candid Remark rebounded in his most recent effort, finishing third in the Herald Gold Plate and flashing some of the old form that has made him one of the most consistent handicap horses of recent years.

Candid Remark will once again be partnered with Perry Winters and will break from post 1.

Trick of the North was one of the best horses on the grounds last year, with second-place finishes in the City of Edmonton and Westerner. A 6-year-old son of Western Trick, Trick of the North ended his 2006 campaign on a high note, logging his only victory of the season against allowance types at Hastings.

Trick of the North comes into Sunday's race off a seventh-place finish in the John Longden at Hastings, his seasonal bow. Still, Trick of the North has the services of two of this circuit's best in trainer Red Smith and jockey Quincy Welch, and given his solid record over the Northlands oval, must be considered.

Blowin in the Wind, Deputy Fudge, and Sparhawk round out the field.