06/01/2003 11:00PM

Fancy Bru can earn derby shot


CALGARY, Alberta - A conditioned optional claimer, the featured eighth race Wednesday at Stampede Park drew six 3-year-olds.

A strong effort in the one-mile race could earn a contestant a spot in the Grade 3, $100,000 Alberta Derby here June 14.

Fancy Bru, fourth to Alberta Derby favorite Taiaslew in the Hoofprint on My Heart here May 25, could earn a rematch with a win Wednesday.

A half-brother to 2001 Alberta Derby winner Fancy As, Fancy Bru was prominent early in the one-mile Hoofprint but faded to fourth, beaten 11 lengths.

Trainer Red Smith saddles Fancy Bru and stablemate Free Pour, a winner of an allowance sprint May 16.

Dale Saunders also sends out a pair: Judge Ruckus, last in the Hoofprint, and Double Doc, a closing third in an optional claimer May 25.

Diablo Contento, winner of that May 25 sprint, and Bet the Breeze, stakes-placed as a juvenile, round out the field.

* Raylene, winner of the Lilac Handicap here, will be nominated to both the derby and the closing-day Penny Ridge, according to trainer Rod Haynes.

Raylene's second consecutive stakes victory reaffirmed her status as the top 3-year-old filly on the circuit. She was under wraps in the lane yet ran the mile in 1:38.20.

* Gamblin Caper, winner of the Klondike at Hastings on Saturday, will ship from Vancouver for the Alberta Derby.

Robert VanOverschot, who won the 2002 Alberta Derby with Lord Shogun, is considering this year's race for Stratoplan, a maiden special winner at Hastings Sunday.