05/30/2008 12:00AM

Churchbridge one of few with speed


CALGARY, Alberta – Churchbridge stretches out to a mile for the first time this season and drops a notch in price to head a field of six older horses in a $22,000 claimer that runs as the featured eighth race on Sunday’s nine-race program at Stampede Park.

Churchbridge drew the rail with Desmond Bryan up and will be forwardly placed in this field, which lacks a true front-runner. Several of his Churchbridge’s one-mile efforts last year were good enough to win a race of this kind, and the 7-year-old gelding, trained by Danny Jones, will attract plenty of support.

Tyabering drew the outside post and is a good fit here. His best races have come at this course. Stephan Heiler retains the mount aboard the gelding, who is in good form with three strong efforts at the meet.

* Just four older horses were nominated to the June 8 Herald Gold Plate due in part to the imposing presence of Alberta’s 2007 horse of the year Footprint, who has been nothing short of sensational in his two wins this season. Test Boy and Teagues Fight, second and third to Footprint in the Teeworth Plate here May 17, and Tejano Trouble round out the short roster.

* Tanika, She’s Italian and California invader Debie Ginsburg waged a terrific stretch battle in the Ken Pearson Memorial on Victoria Day and are expected to rekindle the rivalry in the 1 1/16-mile Duchess of York here June 7.

Eight horses were nominated to the Duchess of York, with a notable absentee being Sales Stakes winner R Lucinda. She shipped to Assiniboia Downs to contest Sunday’s La Verendrye, where she will be ridden by Stampede’s leading rider Quincy Welch.