09/01/2006 11:00PM

Few opt to take on Freetoleave


EDMONTON, Alberta - Freetoleave, a drawing-off winner of the six-furlong Edmonton Juvenile here Aug. 4, faces just five rivals in the featured Birdcatcher on Monday's holiday program here at Northlands Park.

Freetoleave, a Florida-bred son of Successful Appeal owned by Willow Hill Farm, tries 6 1/2 furlongs for the first time in the $50,000 Birdcatcher, in which all starters carry 118 pounds.

The manner in which Freetoleave handled his eight rivals in the Aug. 4 Edmonton Juvenile, with a sweeping last-to-first move, indicates the added sixteenth of a mile will not be a problem for the gelding, trained by leading trainer Greg Tracy. Freetoleave drew post 5. Rickey Walcott, aboard for both his maiden win and subsequent stakes tally, retains the mount on the favorite, who is the only double winner in the Birdcatcher field.

Tracy also saddles Ozildas Afleet Boy, who won at first asking here Aug. 20 going 3 1/2 furlongs and takes a big step up in class and distance. Leanne Painter retains the mount and breaks Ozildas Afleet Boy from post 3 with speed on either side of him.

Freud's Cure, second to Freetoleave after setting the pace to midstretch in the Edmonton Juvenile, drew post 2 with Real Simard replacing the injured Ron Blinston in the irons.

The Millionaire, second in the restricted Sales Stakes here Aug. 19 after prompting the pace, drew post 4 with Stephan Heiler up.