10/10/2003 11:00PM

Distance a question for all


EDMONTON, Alberta - Monday's $75,000 Canadian Juvenile at Northlands Park appears to shape up as a rematch between Tigger Bay and Fly Esteem.

Tigger Bay, who joined Red Smith's stable after running third in the Winnipeg Futurity, led throughout in his Northlands debut Sept. 1 to win the $50,000 Birdcatcher by 3 1/4 lengths over Fly Esteem.

Fly Esteem has not been worse than third in four outings and captured the restricted one-mile Alberta Premier's Futurity in his most recent start.

While Tigger Bay and Fly Esteem will be well-supported, no entrant in the field of eight has gone the 1 1/16-mile distance of Monday's race before and there are several runners who might be capable of posting an upset.

One is Royalty Boy, who charged from seventh place to lose by only a neck in the Alberta Premier's Futurity.

Not to be ignored is Curious Gamble, also trained by Smith but uncoupled in the betting, who was third in the Premier's Futurity, beaten only three-quarters of a length after being far back early.

Regal C Note, from Bill Matier's stable, will have the rail and also has early speed. Griffin's Wake and Regal C Note are each 2 for 2 but neither has stakes experience.

Weekend Rules wired the field in his most recent start three weeks ago. He was fifth in the Sale Stakes, in which Curious Gamble was third.

Stage Whisper, an invader from Saskatoon, where he won the Western Heritage and Saskatchewan Futurity, completes the field.