07/20/2004 12:00AM

Klondike Days begin with sprint


EDMONTON, Alberta - Fillies and mares with $28,000 claiming tags have the honor of launching Klondike Days in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint here Thursday evening.

Tuktoyaktuk, trained by Ron Grieves, returns to face five in her first outing in three months. She had a third and a fourth in two tries in optional claiming races in April at Stampede Park. Real Simard will ride.

Top Stage Dancer is coming off a second-place finish in the slop three weeks ago in a race that was run at Thursday's price. That race came after she launched her campaign in an allowance at Marquis Downs, where she ran fourth. Quincy Welch will ride.

Moe's Hoedown won her first start of the year for $28,000, but her best showing in optional claimers since then was a fourth-place finish at six furlongs. Mike Iammarino returns in the irons.

Beausox and Jade Peony will meet again after running fifth and seventh in the La Verendrye at Assiniboia Downs.

Beausox has shipped in from the Winnipeg track, and Jade Peony has returned to her home circuit in Alberta. Jade Peony had a win, a second, and a third this season at Stampede Park. Beausox has yet to finish in the money in four starts this year.

Completing the field from the rail is This Cat Can, coming off a third under returning rider Rickey Walcott.

Klondike Days will swing into a heavy stakes schedule Friday with the John Patrick Handicap, followed by the Ky Alta on Saturday and the Northlands Oaks on Sunday. There will be four more stakes the following holiday weekend.