07/19/2005 12:00AM

Ice Girl tops Klondike kick-off


EDMONTON, Alberta - A rare Thursday night card here marks the beginning of Klondike Days, which winds up with the holiday Monday program on Aug. 1.

Ice Girl will be seeking her second straight win in Thursday's feature, a one-mile optional claimer for fillies and mares.

The nine-race card begins at 6 p.m.

* Chris Loseth announced his retirement from the saddle little more than a month into the current Vancouver season. But Loseth wasn't about to stray far from the racetrack. Instead, he signed on to become assistant trainer to his wife, Tracy McCarthy, and now has one of the early favorites for the $300,000 Canadian Derby here Aug. 27 in Hotenuforyoo.

Hotenuforyoo, a British Columbia-bred colt, made up four lengths through the stretch to nip 5-2 favorite Gusso by a neck here in last Saturday's one-mile Ky Alta. Gusso, an Alberta-bred trained by Don Gilkyson, looked to be home and cooled out turning for home, but Rickey Walcott found another gear for Hotenuforyoo.

The McArthy-Loseth duo has another iron in the fire in Notis Otis, who came down with a virus when he went to Calgary in the spring and was a beaten odds-on favorite in the President's Handicap. Notis Otis is back in training and could be ready again in time for the Canadian Derby.

* Nessarose, with Stephan Heiler up, won last Friday's Northlands Oaks by a length over Speedy Gone Sally.