05/31/2006 12:00AM

Close Trip has chance vs. elders


CALGARY, Alberta - Super Cruise and A Fiesta Champ square off for the third consecutive time here at Stampede Park in Friday's featured sixth race, a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile.

Super Cruise drew post 3, just inside A Fiesta Champ, and will once again be ridden by Rickey Walcott.

Super Cruise's three sprint races at this meet have all been strong for trainer Dale Saunders. Now Super Cruise just has to prove he can handle the stretch-out to clear this condition.

Both Super Cruise and A Fiesta Champ should be forwardly placed in a field that is lacking in early foot, with Close Trip, the only 3-year-old in the field, appearing to be the other speed.

A Fiesta Champ may have a slight edge at the distance, as his only other try at a mile resulted in second to Blue Comin Thru here last spring.

Super Cruise was fifth in his only attempt at a mile last July.

Close Trip has a shot to be the spoiler, as he has improved each start for trainer Ron Grieves and receives a seven-pound break under the weight-for-age conditions.

With the $125,000 Alberta Derby looming on June 17, any strong performance by an improving 3-year-old going a route might earn at least a nomination.

The results of the Hoofprint on My Heart here last Saturday, with only My Guy and Top Authority showing any run, have thrown the Alberta Derby picture wide open.