07/24/2002 11:00PM

Fond adieu to Klondike Days

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Carrying topweight of 122 pounds, Sixthirtyjoe will concede two pounds to his arch rival Rancour at Northlands Park in Saturday's $40,000 Klondike Handicap.

A field of six will run in the 1 1/16-mile Klondike, the highlight of a card that closes out the Klondike Days portion of the racing season.

It now is anticipated that Sixthirtyjoe also will run in the $50,000 Northlands Sun Sprint Championship at 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 5 in a bid to dethrone Timely Ruckus from his four-year reign as Alberta sprint champion.

Sixthirtyjoe, ridden by Real Simard, already has won four stakes in six outings this season and if he can defeat Rancour in the Klondike he conceivably could go on to win the older horse title as well. His victories have ranged between six furlongs and a flat mile.

It took a photo to deny Sixthirtyjoe a victory against eventual Alberta horse of the year Fancy As in the 1 1/16-mile Ky Alta a year ago, so owner-trainer-breeder Deanne Davies has not ruled out Sixthirtyjoe's ability to handle this distance.

Rancour, who is trained by Ernie Keller and will be ridden by Richard Hamel, won the 1 1/16-mile Herald Gold Plate in early June, with Sixthirtyjoe third.

The other leading contender is Highland Leader, who is coming off two consecutive runner-up finishes including in the Spangled Jimmy, which was won by Sixthirtyjoe with Rancour third.

Looming as the lone speed is Tyko Tycoon, who is bidding to repeat as Klondike champion. He faltered to fifth after leading the Spangled Jimmy to the stretch.

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