09/16/2010 12:13PM

Fall Classic Day has look of a chalk-fest

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Short-priced favorites figure to dominate most of the seven stakes, worth a total of $350,000, on Fall Classic Day at Northlands Park Saturday. All seven races are restricted to Alberta-breds and make up the bulk of the 11-race card, which begins at 1 p.m.

Fall Classic Day is the second biggest day of the year at Northlands and also serves as an advertisement for the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Alberta Thoroughbred sale in Red Deer this Thursday.

Cool Ventura figures to control the Alberta Breeders’ Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, which goes as race 6. Trained by Cody Anderson, Cool Ventura was an easy 4 3/4-length winner over Slews the Standard in the 1 1/16-mile feature in 2009, and he also won the Beaufort for 3-year-olds on Fall Classic Day in 2008.

Cool Ventura is coming off of a second-place finish in the $75,000 Speed to Spare, and being a multiple stakes winner with over $292,00 in earnings, he stands out as the only proven stakes horse in the five-horse field.

Professor Pollard indicated his readiness for the 1 1/16-mile Beaufort with a sharp five-furlong move in 1:00.60 Sept. 11. In his last start, Professor Pollard was involved in a three-horse spill in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby Aug. 21.

Trained by Jim Meyaard, Professor Pollard received a 91 Beyer Speed Figure when he finished a fast-closing second to Canadian Derby winner No Hesitation in the Count Lathum, and the career best figure earned by any of the eight horses he is facing is a 72.

Shifty Time and Malakwa are the major players in the four-horse Alberta Oaks, which goes as race 2. Shifty Time should have the edge as a proven stakes winner at the mile distance of the race, while Malakwa will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

Lemon Pepper, second in the $75,000 City of Edmonton Distaff Aug. 21, figures to be a solid favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Distaff, which drew five fillies and mares.

Undefeated Bond James Bond is coming off of a six-length romp in the $49,000 Sales Stakes Aug. 14 and will be hard to handle in the one-mile Alberta Premier’s Futurity for 2-year-olds.

Mr. Shadar and Arkhill should grab most of the attention in the 6 1/2-furlong Red Diamond Express.

Spirited Winner has been installed as the 8-5 favorite in the one-mile Sturgeon River for 2-year-old fillies.