06/22/2005 11:00PM

Double Time after first score of 2005


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Double Time had been dominant at Marquis Downs, having been named the province's horse of the year for the last two years, but he is still seeking his first win of the year in Saturday's Early's Top Seeded Handicap for older horses. The seven entrants in the Early's Top Seeded compete for a $6,000 purse over six furlongs.

Double Time has won 11 races over the last two years, including the Early's Top Seeded last year and the Inaugural (which was renamed the Early's) in 2003. Double Time has run second in both of his starts this year, both allowance races here, chasing front-running Bullinsky in both outings.

Bullinsky is not entered in the Early's, however, and Double Time looms as the lone proven speed. Regular jockey Rennie Latchman stays aboard.

Beau Ring, making his first start of 2005, is one of the leading money-earning Saskatchewan-breds of all time, as he approaches the $150,000 mark. First or second in 28 of his 44 lifetime starts, Beau Ring can press the pace or come from well off it, and that will give him the first jump on a trio of late closers.

Beauzak and Noble Dane, the Saskatchewan Derby winners of the last two seasons, also hit the track for the first time this year. They will be closing late but would prefer more ground.

Rouge Royale is a classy old veteran capable of beating this tough field on his best day. Though winless in two starts in 2005, Rouge Royale scored a 10 1/4-length victory in the Toon's Handicap late last year over Beau Ring and Double Time. Rouge Royale ran third in the allowance prep for this event two weeks ago.