07/08/2004 12:00AM

Fancy As continues comeback


EDMONTON, Alberta - Fancy As, Alberta's 2001 horse of the year, makes his first appearance at Northlands in three years as he takes another step along the comeback trail in Saturday's $40,000 Spangled Jimmy.

Owned by Red Smith and his wife, Linda, Fancy As heads a full field of 10 older horses at one mile, with two more stranded on the also-eligible list.

Fancy As, with Richard Hamel aboard, will carry high weight of 119 pounds along with Rindanica, who has earned second money in four consecutive stakes, including a promotion on a disqualification in the Stampede Sprint.

Fancy As was sidelined when he went wrong following a three-race campaign in California in the winter of 2002. A comeback last spring was aborted, as Fancy As won two starts at Stampede Park but had to undergo surgery for a blockage in his intestine.

Launching his latest comeback, Fancy As finished third in the Free Press Handicap at Assiniboia Downs on June 20.

Smith also saddles Deputy Country, who is coming off a victory in the Journal Stakes and will break from the rail under 117 pounds and Leanne Painter.

In at 117 pounds is Bubblegum Kid, coming off a victory in the Herald Gold Plate; Alberta's 2002 champion older horse, Code Name Fred, who is looking for his first win of the year after a second and two thirds; and Regal Ability, who won wire to wire in an allowance here opening weekend.

Sixthirty Joe, Alberta's 2002 champion older horse, is looking for his first stakes score of the year. Earlier this year he won an allowance in Calgary.