05/11/2006 12:00AM

Knight's Covenant looks sharp

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CALGARY, Alberta - The second half of the 47-day spring meet here at Stampede Park has begun.

Saturday's nine-race program is day No. 25 for a stand that has suffered on occasion from fields short on both quantity and quality. But the meet is gaining some momentum.

There were nine races on both Friday and Saturday, and on Wednesday there were 17 nominations submitted for the May 20 Teeworth Plate and 13 nominations for the May 22 Ken Pearson Memorial.

The prep for the Teeworth, a one-mile handicap for 3-year-olds and upward, went to Knight's Covenant last Saturday in a dazzling performance under Desmond Bryan.

The upset winner of the 2005 Alberta Derby, Knight's Covenant can be difficult to handle, as the gate crew and trainer Monica Russell will attest. But once the latch opened on Saturday afternoon Knight's Covenant, sportily attired in ear muffs, was all business. He led every jump of the way and was eased up in the closing yards while completing the mile in 1:36.80, easily the best mile time of the meet.

Knight's Covenant's opposition in the Teeworth is expected to include locals Beau Brass, a closing sixth in the April 29 Stampede Park Sprint Championship; Dakota Duke, second in the Sprint; Fuhr Ore, an even third in the same race; and Royalty Boy, a top 3-year-old in 2004 who failed to meet expectations last year.