05/24/2001 11:00PM

Kalfaari confronts veterans in Halter


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Sunday's G. Sydney Halter Stakes at Assiniboia will pit two veteran class horses, Timely Ruckus and Smoky Cinder, against the up-and-coming Kalfaari.

The G. Sydney Halter, a 5 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, offers a purse of $27,500 and attracted a field of seven.

The probable favorite, Timely Ruckus, is trained by Ernie Keller and leads the field in career wins with 18 and career earnings with $443,550.

Timely Ruckus, an 8-year-old, has run twice at Stampede Park this year and managed a third-place finish in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship in his last start May 5. Jacques DesAutels will ride Timely Ruckus, who will begin from post 3.

Smoky Cinder, who won last year's edition of the G. Sydney Halter, will break from the outside.

Trained by Gary Danelson, Smoky Cinder scored over a sloppy track here May 6 in his only outing this year and has won seven of 11 starts at Sunday's distance. Tim Gardiner will be in the saddle as Smoky Cinder, a 7-year-old, starts from the outside.

Owned and trained by Clint Willson, Kalfaari is undefeated in four lifetime starts and has yet to be seriously tested in two outings here this year. A 4-year-old, he will be making his third start in two weeks and his first against stakes company.

Alan Cuthbertson, the regular rider of Kalfaari, committed to Robnroy when nominations closed May 17 and Brian Harding has picked up the mount on Kalfaari.

Robnroy, the probable speed of the race, will break from the inside.

Trained by Pam McDougal, Robnroy has run twice at Stampede Park this year. He defeated top allowance company, including Timely Ruckus, in his first outing and then came back to finish sixth in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship.

Rounding out the field, in post order, will be Tejano Ruler, Anderson Ward the rider; Popsicle Pete, with Rohan Singh; and Fruit Rapport, Danny Vergara up.

*Nominations for the Chantilly, a six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies to be run here June 3, closed Thursday. The nominees are Sassy Chimes, Itsacolddayinmay, Step's Mischief, Cayenne Pepper, Mountain Crest, Flicka, Misty Eagle, Pettycashyou, Kool Ninety Eight, and Aferd's Dream.