08/22/2002 12:00AM

Lady Shari Canadian Derby fave


EDMONTON, Alberta - A big field of 11 3-year-olds are entered in Saturday's 73rd running of the $150,000 Canadian Derby, a Grade 3 race that is the highlight of the Northlands Park meeting.

The crowded entry box results in part from the defection of Vancouver-based Lord Shogun, who is sidelined with a minor injury. He is unbeaten this year, with victories in the Alberta Derby, Ky Alta, and Manitoba Derby,

The 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby looks like a wide-open race. The morning-line favorite is the filly Lady Shari, who was flown in from Toronto. Two locally based fillies, Sweet Monarch and Reeyre, are also in the field. And Vancouver is still represented, by the colt No Time Flat.

The fillies will carry 121 pounds, five fewer than the colts and geldings.

Three races ago at Woodbine, Lady Shari, gamely won a $62,500 optional claimer, scoring by a neck over older rivals. Her regular rider, Constant Montpellier, will be riding again Saturday.

At Wednesday's Derby draw, Lady Shari came away with post 2.

Sweet Monarch has been the leader of her division in Alberta, with victories in the Lilac at Calgary and in the $75,000 Sonoma at Northlands. She will be taking her second shot at males; she was a strong fourth in the Alberta Derby.

Quincy Welch will ride Sweet Monarch, who breaks from post 4.

Reeyre has two seconds and a third in her last three starts against fillies and mares, but she has never run against Sweet Monarch.

No Time Flat, who will break from the outside post under Felipe Valdez, just missed in the Jim Coleman Province at Hastings Park, and then was third in the British Columbia Stallion Stakes.

Of the Alberta-based runners, most of the attention likely will be focused on the top three finishers in the 1 5/16-mile Count Lathum.

Sir Deuces won by a neck over Go Go Tommy Joe, with both colts rallying from far back. Thundering Herd, recently claimed for $25,000, had set all the pace and held on gamely for third money.

Thundering Herd is dangerous here because he appears to have the only serious speed in the field, and will break from the advantageous post 1.

Among the others, Regal Randy is coming off a six-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Saskatchewan Derby, while Silent Shoes finished fourth in the Count Lathum, and Topwynson and Regal Ability are coming out of optional claimers.

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