06/17/2008 11:00PM

Just Callme Blonde will try to stalk speed


SASKATOON, Saskatachewan - A pair of $7,500 stakes races at six furlongs for older horses launch the Marquis Downs stakes schedule this week.

Friday's M D Ambulance Handicap, formerly know as the Mademoiselle, will feature the top older fillies and mares, while Saturday's Saskatoon Handicap has the best older males running.

Just Callme Blonde and High Mezzo headline the M D Ambulance and loom as the logical choices given their recent allowance scores to begin the season.

Just Callme Blonde was a handy 2 3/4-length winner of the six-furlong prep after getting a nice stalking trip here June 6.

High Mezzo destroyed her field May 23 when winning a half-mile event by seven lengths.

Built This City was the beaten favourite in both races and, along with High Mezzo, she should ensure a quick pace that may set things up for Just Callme Blonde once again.

Other contenders include Mandi Tambi, a closing second versus $6,000 claimers last time out, plus Dorothy Hazel and Allourwishes.

Dorothy Hazel and Allourwishes, both stakes winners last year, were second and fifth, respectively, behind Just Callme Blonde in their initial starts of 2008.

In Saturday's Saskatoon, Bethune will likely be the public choice based on his 2 3/4-length victory in the allowance prep versus most of these here June 7.

Already a winner at Stampede Park in 2008 versus $13,000 claimers, Bethune got a perfect trip to wire the field that day and may use the same tactics to get the job done once again.

Facing Bethune will be both Standoff and Sand Rush, the province's top older horses of the past two years.

Sand Rush won a half-mile allowance race on opening weekend and then was fourth to Bethune last time out.

Standoff improved on his fourth-place finish to Sand Rush to be third when facing Bethune.

Others in the lineup include Mischeviousfighter, the top 3-year-old in the province last year but last to Bethune in his first start of 2008; and Resurgent, who has finished second in both local allowance races for older horses at the meeting.