08/02/2007 12:00AM

Footprint faces tough Kentucky invader


EDMONTON, Alberta - Footprint, the remarkably consistent and rapidly improving winner of the Ky Alta Handicap, faces a stiff challenge Saturday when he takes on nine capable rivals in the $75,000 Count Lathum here at Northlands Park.

Never worse than third in his last 10 starts, Footprint comes into 1 1/16-mile Count Lathum following the demolition of his opposition in the Ky Alta. In that one-mile race, Footprint and jockey Real Simard found themselves with a comfortable early lead after an exceptionally quick break from the gate. Footprint proceeded to amplify the margin at every call and crossed the finish line 5 1/2 lengths ahead of his closest rival.

Footprint stopped the clock in 1:36.40, just .60 off the track record, set in 1981, and he recorded a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

The group that Footprint faces Saturday is largely composed of horses that chased him to the finish line in the Ky Alta. But there are some new players added to the cast, and the foremost among these is Codio.

A $350,000 sale purchase, Codio comes to Northlands Park after a seventh-place finish at 22-1 in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. Prior to that effort, Codio made some waves when he handily won his maiden going seven furlongs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Codio followed that performance with a third-place effort in a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs back on May 28 before heading to Iowa.