07/22/2003 11:00PM

Fantazmic may be this year's model


EDMONTON, Alberta - Friday's $40,000 Edmonton Juvenile at Northlands Park for 2-year-old colts and geldings will provide local fans with their first look at potential candidates for the 2004 Canadian Derby. A field of five will go to the post and all of the entrants will be running six furlongs for the first time.

Trainer Greg Tracy won this race last year with Taiaslew, and is back this time with Fantazmic. Tracy said he is uncertain as to how Fantazmic, a maiden winner at 3 1/2 furlongs in his debut, will handle the six-furlong distance.

"It's tough to say with young horses," Tracy said. "He shares the same sire as Taiaslew [Slewdledo], but he's not near the horse. He won at a [$15,000 claiming] price his first time out but I don't know if he belongs here or not."

With a small field in prospect, however, Tracy decided to take a shot at another stakes purse.

"He does everything as well as could be expected, and he's fairly laid back," Tracy said. "As a 2-year-old you expect some mental mistakes, but he's come along the last few weeks."

Also in the field are Excellent Blend and Highland Alibhai, both trained by Dale Saunders and both coming off wins in their first race.

Excellent Blend won at 5 1/2 furlongs and looked good in a recent workout, while Highland Alibhai scored at 3 1/2 furlongs.

Also coming off of an impressive win is Ozzie's J J, who will run as an entry along with Ol Fifty. Ozzie's J J, an Alberta-bred, will break from the rail. Ol Fifty has finished second in each of his two starts.