04/09/2002 11:00PM

He's 8, but still Breezy Creek

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CALGARY, Alberta - Breezy Creek, who runs in Friday's feature, has been fond of Stampede Park since 1998.

That year, Breezy Creek emerged from the claiming ranks to blossom into the hot horse of the spring meet for trainer Rod Haynes.

Breezy Creek, a son of Chapel Creek, is small in stature but is all heart as he demonstrated when he won the Herald Gold Plate in 1998. He went on that year to earn a nomination in Alberta's champion older horse category but was edged out by Timely Ruckus, who had defeated him in Northlands Park's Spangled Jimmy.

The Spangled Jimmy effort was costly. Breezy Creek developed tendon problems and had just nine starts in the next three years. In 1999 his only start came in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship, where he rallied for third place behind T J Quigley and Timely Ruckus.

The past two springs, Breezy Creek has won his seasonal debut under regular rider Real Simard.

Now 8, Breezy Creek is in the twilight of his career but will be favored against eight rivals in Friday's sixth race for $11,000 claimers going six furlongs.

* Simard and Stephan Heiler recorded a hat tricks on opening night, Friday.

* Quincy Welch, blanked on Friday, came back to post hat tricks on Saturday and Sunday to open an early lead in the rider standings.

* Trainer Dale Greenwood won three races Saturday and one Sunday to emerge with the early lead in the trainers' standings. Ernie Keller won a race on each of the first three cards.

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