05/05/2006 12:00AM

Ericka's Lass faces the boys in sprint


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A lack of participants in an allowance race for mares offered over the first two days of entries has forced the top local mares to take on males in Sunday's featured seventh race, a $20,000 allowance race at five furlongs.

Ericka's Lass, the top filly or mare here the past two seasons, tops the three mares entered. A 5-year-old daughter of Limit Out trained by Emile Corbel, Ericka's Lass won the La Verendrye and Winnipeg Sun here last season.

Corbel will also send out Lt. Regent. A 6-year-old daughter of Native Regent, Lt. Regent has won 6 of 15 starts but appears to be overmatched in here.

The third mare in the race, Rowan Express, will make her local debut for trainer Raymond Liu after being claimed for $12,500 at Woodbine last November. A 6-year-old English-bred mare, Rowan Express has won 6 of 36 starts, including 2 of 3 at five furlongs.

Northern Affair and Lord Shogun will likely battle for the early lead. Winless last year, Northern Affair has showed his best when stretched out around two turns, including stakes placings in the Wheat City and R.J. Speers.

Lord Shogun, a 7-year-old son of Maudlin, finished second behind subsequent stakes winner Iwoodificould in his 2005 debut. Trained by Carl Anderson, Lord Shogun won two allowance races over Northern Affair later in the season when he was able to control the early pace.

Anderson will also send out 4-year-old Resurgent, who won the restricted Manitoba and J.W. Sifton last season.

The field rounds out with Silver Fury, a second-level allowance winner last year; Mindy's Island, a two-time winner over conditioned claimers late last season; and stakes winner Bold 'n Keen, who makes his first start since October of 2004.