06/23/2004 11:00PM

Double Time has only three foes


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Double Time will be in search of his ninth consecutive victory over the Marquis Downs track in Saturday's $5,000 Early's Farm and Garden Centre Handicap.

The six-furlong feature for 3-year-olds and upward drew just four entrants, and Double Time should be the prohibitive choice.

Double Time, owned by Redbird Farm, has won the first two allowance races for the division here this spring, including the six-furlong prep for this race last Friday.

Certified Coin, the runner-up in each race, is not entered, so Double Time should be loose on the lead.

Double Time won six straight here last year, all stakes and allowance races, and was named champion older horse and Saskatchewan horse of the year by the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Double Time also showed his class by running second twice at Northlands Park last year, beaten both times by just a head, for a $17,500 claiming price.

Beau Ring, a 7-year-old, looks to be the logical upsetter here, although he is much better suited to longer distances.

A provincial champion at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5, Beau Ring is one of Saskatchewan's all-time leading money winners with $139,697 and 18 victories.

Beau Ring campaigned unsuccessfully against the top horses at Assiniboia Downs last year before moving to Northlands, where he scored twice, at the $17,500 and $22,000 claiming levels.

This year, Beau Ring ran sixth, at a half-mile, and an even third last week to Double Time.

Stop the Act was named the province's 2003 champion 3-year-old male by both the horsemen's association and the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, based on his five wins, including a victory in the Shortgrass Heritage.

A winner for a $10,000 claiming price at Northlands last fall, Stop the Act does his best running late.

Completing the field is Britts Xpress, a stakes winner at 3 in 2002 but winless since then.