04/05/2006 11:00PM

Joyfull Wind fast and in top form


CALGARY, Alberta - Joyfull Wind heads a field of five in Saturday's featured eighth race for 3-year-old fillies here at Stampede Park.

A California-bred, Joyfull Wind was visually impressive in drawing off for a three-length score a week ago in a $17,500 claimer over four furlongs, and owner-trainer Dale Saunders wheels her right back in this half-miler for $25,000 claimers.

Joyfull Wind is the only double winner in this lightly raced group and is expected to be favored once again. Leading rider Quincy Welch is in the irons.

In her only try farther than four furlongs, Joyfull Wind made the lead and faded to fifth going 6 1/2 furlongs in the Bird of Pay at Northlands Park last September. The winner of that race was Kaylee's Magic, who is the overwhelming choice to be named champion 2-year-old filly on this circuit.

Before conceding the race to Joyfull Wind, it should be noted that her two main rivals have also shown speed in stakes company.

Elusive Storm made the lead in the Filly Sales Stakes last August at Northlands prior to fading to fifth. The Alberta-bred Elusive Storm opened her 2006 campaign with a maiden tally over $20,000 claimers on opening night in 45.40 seconds, the same winning time as Joyfull Wind posted the next afternoon.

The filly who pressed Elusive Storm in the Filly Sales Stakes was Nashwaak Dancer, who faded to last.