06/18/2003 12:00AM

Kalfaari still the king after Free Press win

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The status quo remained relatively intact in stakes here over the last two weeks.

Kalfaari picked up where he left off last Sunday, winning his sixth in a row in the $35,000 Free Press and, in his usual fashion, making it look closer than it was.

Owned and trained by Clint Willson, the 6-year-old Kalfaari forced the pace outside Wondrous Zeal, shook that rival in early stretch, and was immediately taken on by Deputy Country to his outside. Deputy Country gave it all he had down the lane, but Kalfaari had that old familiar look in his eyes.

Kalfaari measured Deputy Country to the wire, winning by a head and getting the six furlongs in 1:10.60.

The first stakes for mares, last Saturday's $35,000 La Verendrye at six furlongs, turned out to be the fourth local win in a row for Briara, owned by Nicholas Lotz and trained by Bert Blake. A 5-year-old Clever Trick mare, Briara made all the pace and won by four lengths over Regal Heir. It was the first stakes victory for Briara

The final time for the six furlongs was 1:11.40.

The 3-year-old female division was thrown into disarray when Princess Muldoon, a former $7,500 claimer, upset favored Halos Promise Land in the $35,000 Chantilly Stakes at six furlongs here June 8.

Trained by Harry Kube for Kurt Zimmer, Princess Muldoon saved ground and rallied to best Halos Promise Land by a half-length in 1:13.80.

The $35,000 Golden Boy Stakes at six furlongs on June 7 was perhaps the most exciting stakes of the meet, as Alberta invader Cool Bender, trained by Barry Brown for Abe Brewster, dueled throughout to defeat Sand Rush by a nose.

Cool Bender, who was lugging in throughout under jockey Ron Blinston, had to survive a claim of foul from the rider of Sand Rush, Juan Crawford, after a stirring stretch battle.