07/07/2006 12:00AM

Droppers hold key to claimer


EDMONTON, Alberta - Torch of Freedom will shoot for his second victory of the year when he drops into a field of nine $17,500 claimers going a mile here at Northlands Park on Sunday.

A Florida-bred 4-year-old trained by Rod Haynes, Torch of Freedom defeated $15,000 opponents April 26, wiring that group by three lengths sprinting six furlongs. Since then he has finished second, sixth, and fifth at the $22,000 plateau.

Torch of Freedom will be ridden by Stephan Heiler.

Dale Saunders sends out an entry of Parlay's Prospect and Miki Bleu Eyes. Rickey Walcott accepts the mount on Parlay's Prospect, a recent claim from Ernie Keller's barn, while Quincy Welch will ride Miki Bleu Eyes.

Miki Bleu Eyes has been third twice against the $30,000 kind and is dropping from $22,000 in search of his first win of the year.

Noble Dane, who will make his second start of the campaign after just failing to last at a mile at this level, is coupled with Curious Gamble as a Red Smith-trained entry. Both Noble Dane and Curious Gamble are winless this year and their pilots are Shannon Beauregard and Ron Blinston, respectively.

Starlight Dancer is stepping up after winning his last outing, which came against $10,000 opponents.

Stuart Simon will saddle Dr. Chiang Mai, a 6-year-old in quest of his 11th triumph, six of which came last year.