09/22/2001 12:00AM

Delta Colleen marks 9th clash of two rivals


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Eight fillies and mares are scheduled to run in the $35,000 Delta Colleen Stakes at Hastings Park this Sunday afternoon, but most of the focus will be on rivals Grooms Derby and Make Contact in the 1 1/16-mile feature.

Make Contact and Grooms Derby have been taking turns beating each other over the last two years. They have raced each other eight times and are tied with three wins apiece. Grooms Derby won the most important race, the British Columbia Oaks last year, but Make Contact is coming off an impressive victory in Emerald's most prestigious race for older fillies and mares, the Sept. 3 Belle Roberts.

Grooms Derby has won all of her races on the front end, so there's not much doubt where she will be during the early running of the race. Make Contact is more versatile, but she has good speed, and she led every step of the way in her easy win in the Belle Roberts.

"We're not going to let Grooms Derby have things her own way," said Dave Forster, Make Contact's trainer. David Wilson will be aboard.

Mark Patzer has been named to ride Grooms Derby. Michael Turner trains.

*The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (B.C. Division) is holding their summer sale this Monday at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, B.C. It's a mixed sale with 153 yearlings among the 174 horses up for sale.