04/09/2008 11:00PM

Footprint in '08 bow


CALGARY, Alberta - A Sales Stakes doubleheader and the return of Alberta's 2007 horse of the year Footprint share the spotlight Saturday afternoon in what is unquestionably the best card of the young season.

Footprint, winner of the Canadian Derby last year on his way to a single-season Alberta earnings record of $320,000, will be favored against six foes, all of them stakes winners, in the sixth race, an allowance sprint sandwiched between the two $50,000 Sales Stakes.

All eight races are at six furlongs.

Footprint catches a field loaded with speed. Summer Sensation and Cool Synsation both captured stakes last year in wire-to-wire fashion and figure to duel early.

Laketon, Alberta's champion sprinter of 2007, and Plagiarist, winner of the Stampede Park Sprint Championship last spring, should be in close pursuit.

Footprint has tactical speed and rider Real Simard will be looking to fashion a stalking trip.

Banjo Babe and stablemate Certainly Regal head the fillies and mares division of the Sales Stakes and are coupled in the wagering. Banjo Babe is the 120-pound highweight, while Certainly Regal, who upset this race last year, will keep things honest on the front end. The entry is expected to be favored in a wide-open field of eight.

Teagues Fight, last year's winner, is the 123-pound highweight in the Sales Stakes for colts and geldings and is expected to defend his crown at a short price.