07/18/2008 12:00AM

Greenwood Meadow set for best


EDMONTON, Alberta – Greenwood Meadow showed enough promise last spring for trainer Dale Saunders to dispatch him along the Canadian Derby trail, a route that Footprint successfully traversed on his way to Alberta horse of the year honors.

Greenwood Meadow was no match for Footprint in their three meetings last year, but his 2–6–1 record from 11 starts banked $64,280.

Greenwood Meadow has rounded into form this year, and stretches out to a mile off a series of sprints Sunday in the featured eighth race at Northlands Park, a second-level allowance. Quincy Welch retains the call.

Saunders took his time this spring with Greenwood Meadow, who had just one start at Stampede Park. Greenwood Meadow then came to Northlands and finished third to Cool Synsation and Plagiarist an open allowance opening weekend and then a close second as the favorite in a second-level allowance on Canada Day.

Greenwood Meadow’s best races have come under Welch, and his mid-pack stalking style is a good fit in this field of eight colts and geldings, including the 3-year-olds Just Call Me Duke and Jim’s Choice.

Just Call Me Duke and Jim’s Choice both won stakes here during their juvenile campaigns, but have struggled to regain their form this season. In a group not overly loaded with early speed, it would be no surprise to see one or both vie for the early lead.

Saunders also saddles Bubba Sly, and Stephan Heiler picks up the mount from Welch. Bubba Sly, winless since 2006 and a beaten favorite in each of his four outings this year, remains eligible for a first-level allowance.