07/09/2008 11:00PM

Chief Shaheen most likely winner off his last


A field of seven 3-year-old graduates of the 2006 Prairie Lily yearling sale, including two fillies, will compete for a $6,500 purse in the seven-furlong Sales Stakes on Saturday at Marquis Downs.

Y.C. Rail won the $25,000 Prairie Lily Sales Stakes last September at 6o1/2 furlongs and makes his second start of the season after finishing a distant fourth in the Early's Farm and Garden Handicap. Y.C. Rail won the second start of his juvenile campaign, so his connections hope he can emulate that feat at age 3.

Chief Shaheen looms as the logical favorite after closing well in the Early's to finish second, so stretching out an extra furlong should be no problem. After winning his maiden against $7,000 claimers at Stampede Park this spring, Chief Shaheen ended up second in both of his local starts and appears to be on the cusp of victory once again.

Gigs finished second behind Y.C. Rail in both the Western Heritage and the Prairie Lily last year before winning his maiden in his first outing of 2008. In his latest start, Gigs ran a distant third in the Early's, but the Sales Stakes distance should be to his liking for his third start of the season.

Of the fillies, Fiesty Cheetah has the best chance at an upset. Fiesty Cheetah won the Gold Strike Stakes by eight lengths versus fillies in her first start but has not hit the winner's circle in five subsequent starts.