06/24/2008 11:00PM

Crown Victress best of home team


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – A week after the best older horses on the grounds competed in the first stakes events of the meet, the spotlight turns to the 3-year-olds in Friday’s Prairie Meats Handicap for fillies and Saturday’s Early’s Farm and Garden Handicap for colts and geldings. Each race carries a $7,500 purse, is contested over six furlongs, and appears to be a wide-open affair.

Crown Victress made her only start of 2008 a winning one, albeit by being moved up via disqualification, and is the 118-pound highweight in the Prairie Meats. Crown Victress won the June 13 allowance prep in her first start over the course.

A winner for a $15,000 maiden claimer at Hastings as a 2-year-old, Crown Victress will face two Alberta ship-ins and five locals on Friday.

Silky Sally has two victories for a $7,000 claiming price to go along with two fifth-place outings versus $12,000 claimers, all at Stampede Park this spring. Gold Michelle has a second and two thirds in three outings at Stampede Park and should vie for the lead with Crown Victress.

The Early’s shapes up as the better of the two races given the presence of two who won stakes here last season and an Alberta shipper who looks very dangerous.

Brilliant Action was named the province’s top 2-year-old last year based on his 3-for-3 record, including two easy stakes victories. Y.C. Rail won the Prairie Lily Sales Stakes last September, and in his only other start was a well-beaten third to Brilliant Action. Both make their first start of the year Saturday.

Both horses are trained by Hubert Pilon and sport lengthy work tabs, but Brilliant Action appears to have the better works.

Carson City Song won his maiden versus $20,000 claimers this spring at Stampede Park.