06/14/2006 11:00PM

Dark Nova drops from stakes ranks


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Dark Nova, fourth in the La Verendrye Stakes last time out, heads a competitive field of eight fillies and mares in a first-level allowance race on Saturday here at Assiniboia Downs.

Trained by Darrell Hartley, Dark Nova has won 4 of 6 starts, with all of her races coming at Saturday's six-furlong distance. Owned and bred by Ila Khan, Dark Nova won 2 of 3 races here last year and won her two races at Stampede Park this year before her most recent start in the La Verendrye.

Utmost, the only 3-year-old in the field, finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, on June 4 in her local debut and her first start of the year.

Pine Falls exits the same race, finishing third, beaten a length. That race was her third on the season, all at this level.

Buck a Shot makes her third start of the year after running twice against $6,000 claimers. Trained by Martin Drexler, Buck a Shot finished second first time out and won her most recent race on May 27.

Gold With Honor finished fourth at this level in her only start this year on May 22.

Navy Brat, trained by Lorna Grey, won her season debut over conditioned claimers on May 12 but finished fifth at this level on June 4.

Elusive Wolf, who makes her first start locally for trainer Ardell Sayler, won 2 of 3 races at minor tracks in South Dakota this spring.

Game Girl, eighth at this level on May 22 in her only start this year, rounds out the field.

* Jockey Alan Cuthbertson was taken off his mounts last Sunday and has been suspended for three days, June 16-18, after registering a blood alcohol level over .000, which is a breach of the conditions of his probationary license.

* Apprentice Terry Husbands won his first race here last Sunday aboard Sevnfordeesevn ($7.20).