10/06/2006 11:00PM

Freetoleave can clinch crown


EDMONTON, Alberta - A divisional championship is on the line Monday with the $75,000 Canadian Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles, matching the three 2-year-olds who have accounted for the four juvenile stakes at this Northlands Park meeting.

A victory by Freetoleave, hero of the Edmonton Juvenile and Birdcatcher, would clinch the title, while Sales Stakes winner Howsitgoinghotshot and Alberta Premier's Futurity victor C R Jag look to sway some voters with a second stakes tally.

Freetoleave has used a powerful stretch kick to draw off in the stretch in his stakes wins, and will be favored despite drawing the outside post in the field of nine. Regular rider Rickey Walcott will be up.

C R Jag won the restricted Premier's at a mile after pressing very slow early fractions and gets the benefit of the rail with Desmond Bryan retaining the call.

A rider of change of note will see Stephan Heiler take over from Quincy Welch aboard Howsitgoinghotshot after that gelding faltered as the favorite to finish third in the Premier's. The slow fractions and a tricky surface rated as good could be used as excuses.

Welch has opted for Bubba Sly, who held on well to run second to Freetoleave in the Birdcatcher. Bubba Sly, with Welch up, recorded a five-furlong work of 1:00.80, the best of 17 at the distance, on Sept. 28.

Sin Toro ships in from Hastings after a fourth-place finish in the New Westminster, where he drew outside eight rivals, made the lead while three wide, and tired.

Dave Wilson will fly in from Vancouver to partner Sin Toro, who drew post 8.

Holy Smoke Ya handled maidens with ease last out after running fourth in the Birdcatcher, in which he encountered some traffic problems.