05/17/2006 12:00AM

Last race points out 'Bear'


CALGARY, Alberta - Smoking Bear goes for her third straight victory at the meet Friday in a $30,000 claimer for fillies and mares here at Stampede Park.

Leading trainer Greg Tracy claimed the 6-year-old Smoking Bear out of a $22,000 claimer on April 30. She won that race, coming from well back after stumbling at the break. That was probably the best of her career, and Smoking Bear enters Friday's six-furlong feature as one the favorites despite facing some foes descending from the allowance ranks.

Smoking Bear drew the rail in a field of seven with Stephan Heiler up. The inside post should allow Heiler to place her comfortably off the early pace, expected to be provided by Bailey Jazz and Dixie Dandee.

Tracy, with 16 wins in the first 26 days of this 47-day stand, is seeking his second straight training championship.

Bailey Jazz, claimed for $13,000 last Sunday, comes back on short rest for new trainer Ernie Keller and will have her hands full holding off Smoking Bear as well as Steffiena, who drops a notch after disappointing a week ago following a four-wide trip through the first turn.

Sounce a Silence is another late closer who made her seasonal debut versus much tougher company in an open allowance on May 7.

Moe's Hoedown should be rolling late in her first start of the campaign. She runs well fresh and comes off a strong series of works for trainer Deanna Walper.