09/19/2001 11:00PM

Five share top burden in Distaff at Northlands


EDMONTON, Alberta - While Timely Ruckus will be in the spotlight in the Red Diamond Express, the best race of Saturday's Northlands Park card could be the $50,000 Fall Classic Distaff for older fillies and mares.

An indication of the competitiveness of the race was apparent when Alan Bott, the Northlands racing secretary, made five horses the co-highweights at 118 pounds.

Among that group is Little Lolitta, a 3-year-old who has already won more than $113,000 this year.

Little Lolitta comes back after a spectacular effort in the $30,000 Assiniboia Oaks on Sept. 9 and is looking for her fifth stakes win of the year. But she will have to overcome a tough crowd, including Tecate, Northern Neechitoo, Golden Remark, and Crimson Hue.

With Code Name Fred done for the year, Scotman is expected to be the favorite in the $50,000 Alberta Breeders' Handicap for older horses.

After dominating the 3-year-old division last year, Scotman has been disappointing in 2001, with just one stake win to his credit. A victory here would allow Scotman, a gelding owned by Gordon Wilson, to finish the year on a positive note.

Nova Sin won the Alberta Breeders' last year, defeating Code Name Fred by a neck, and will have the inside post as he attempts to defend his title here.

Another intriguing race is the $44,000 Beaufort for 3-year-old colts and geldings, where Sixthirtyjoe will attempt to put an exclamation mark on one of the best stories of the year.

Sixthirtyjoe, purchased for a token sum, already has won four races this year, including the $30,000 Western Canada Handicap and has earned more than $76,000 for owner/trainer Deanne Davies.

In his last start here Sept. 8, the colt stalked the leaders before taking over down the lane and Davies said he came out of that race in spectacular condition.

"Look at him, he can't wait to get back out there," said Davies, following a recent training session. "He's got so much spirit that he'll be tough to beat."

The other races that are part of the Fall Classic program are the $40,000 Alberta Premier's Futurity for 2-year-olds, the $40,000 Sturgeon River for 2-year-old fillies, and the $40,000 Alberta Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.