07/04/2004 11:00PM

Chief Mtn wins and is sold


EDMONTON, Alberta - No sooner had Chief Mtn flashed under the wire an easy 5 1/4-length winner in last Thursday's $40,000 Western Canada than owner Trish Murphy dispatched trainer Red Robertson to pick up his papers.

The plan had been to hitch up the trailer the next morning and take Chief Mtn. back to Sunray Park in New Mexico.

But before Trish and her husband, Tom, made their departure, the prominent Northlands owner Dany Dion, an oilman from Bonnyville, Alberta, commenced negotiations to purchase Chief Mtn with an eye to the $250,000 Canadian Derby here Aug. 28. The sale was transacted before the day was out, and Murphy headed south with an empty trailer.

Earlier this spring the Murphys sold Chief Mtn's travelling companion, Montana-bred 4-year-old Bad Shot, to Abed Itani after a pair of victories over $7,500 competition at Stampede Park.

In the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada, Alberta Derby champion Fly Esteem, slightly favored over Chief Mtn at 3-2, dueled on the outside of Chief Mtn but gave way in the stretch to finish fourth.

Chief Mtn now goes to the barn of Dion's trainer, Dale Greenwood, who described the price as "fairly steep."

Chief Mtn has never been asked to go farther than 6 1/2 furlongs, and plans call for him to enter the 1 1/16-mile Ky Alta July 23.

* Sunday's $40,000 Wild Rose went to 1-2 favorite Sly Lady, who defeated three other fillies and - Saturday, Kellys Guest ($10.70) was a mild upsetter in the $40,000 Chariot Chaser, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies.