09/18/2005 11:00PM

Class drop for veteran in feature


EDMONTON, Alberta - Following a couple of second-place finishes in $30,000 company, Highland Leader drops back to meet $22,000 claimers in the 6 1/2-furlong feature at Northlands Park on Wednesday.

Highland Leader, a 10-year-old, will have six rivals as he bids for his fourth victory of the year's campaign, with his previous 2005 wins all coming at this level. Rickey Walcott picks up the mount.

Griffin's Wake is coming off two runner-up finishes for $22,000 after victories in the $13,000 and $10,000 ranks.

Red's the Rage will seek his third win in his last four starts. Stephan Heiler opted to stick with Red's the Rage even though he has been a regular rider of Highland Leader.

Red's the Rage scored an impressive victory in his last outing after moving up to the $22,000 plateau from the $17,500 ranks.

Garry Marks has been running Dublin's Woodwin for $22,000 all season, with a pair of wins, a second, and two third-place finishes in six outings.

Pady's Party won an allowance at this distance July 29 before moving into the claiming ranks, where he was off the board twice for $30,000 and was fourth in his last start at a mile for $22,000.

Trainer Bill Matier will send out Deputy Fudge after claiming him for $22,000.

Making only his second start of the year will be Ka Blui, who was a well-beaten eighth at this level in his 2005 debut.