Updated on 09/15/2011 12:36PM

Fancy As scares them away


EDMONTON, Alberta - Even though Alberta Derby champion Fancy As concedes as many as

12 pounds to his opponents, only three other sophomores have elected to take him on in the $30,000 Ky Alta Handicap here Saturday afternoon.

A Manitoba-bred gelding trained by Red Smith, Fancy As has won eight in a row since suffering the only loss of his career in his second start, the Graduation, in his home province.

Also included in that streak are the Edmonton Juvenile, Birdcatcher, and Canadian Juvenile here last year and the President's and Hoofprint on My Heart at Stampede Park this spring.

Fancy As, who drew the inside post for the 1 1/16-mile Ky Alta, is slated to carry top weight of

124 pounds including regular rider Richard Hamel.

Smith also nominated Fancy As to Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Derby Trial at Assiniboia Downs but has opted to remain here for the Ky Alta, which is the second-to-last prep for the Aug. 25 Canadian Derby.

Serious opposition for Fancy As could come from Sixthirty Joe, who was second in Calgary's 1 1/16-mile Alberta Derby. Sixthirty Joe has three wins, a second and a third in five outings, all this season, and gets in with 119 pounds.

Completing the compact field will be Lucky Prince and Autumn Weekend. Lucky Prince, trained by Lianne Knechtel, won a $20,000 claimer before being a well-beaten second in the Western Canada. Autumn Weekend, a maiden, comes into the Ky Alta with two straight second-place finishes.

The final prep for the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby will be the Count Lathu, a 1 5/16-mile race

Aug. 4.