06/28/2007 11:00PM

Footprint goes after first stakes


EDMONTON, Alberta - Alberta Derby runner-up Footprint looks to solidify his position as one of the top 3-year-olds at Northlands Park when he takes on eight challengers in the 80th running of the $50,000 Western Canada Handicap. A Kentucky-bred son of Gold Case, Footprint has yet to win a stakes, but has a third and three seconds in the four stakes in which he has competed.

Let go at 17-1 in the Alberta Derby, Footprint was given a stalking trip by Real Simard. When the speed packed it in, Simard made his bid and they held the lead at midstretch. But Footprint was outpaced in the final yards by Amazin Blue, who had shipped north from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's base in California.

Footprint is unlikely to see such long odds in the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada. At high weight of 118 pounds, the Joan Petrowski trainee should be slightly favored to capture the meet's first stepping-stone to the Canadian Derby.

Sin Toro, trained by Stu Simon, ran down a front-running Footprint to capture the $75,000 Canadian Juvenile at 2. Sin Toro then went on to acquit himself very well in the Ascot Graduation at Hastings, finishing third, beaten by just a half-length.

Sin Toro looked pretty good to start this season, finishing third in the President's Handicap at Stampede Park. But he failed to improve upon that effort when he finished up the track in the Hoofprint on My Heart, contested in late May.

Sin Toro has not started since that event and returns Sunday with Jake Barton in the irons, the fourth different rider he has carried in his last four starts.