05/31/2006 11:00PM

Ledbury goes after 3rd straight


CALGARY, Alberta - Ledbury, an old pro with a 14-for-47 lifetime mark, steps up another notch to the $30,000 claiming plateau in search of his third consecutive victory here at Stampede Park on Saturday. Ledbury, a 9-year-old gelding, faces just five rivals in the sixth race on the seven-race card.

Leading trainer Greg Tracy claimed Ledbury out of his last start, a handy tally at six furlongs over $22,000 company accomplished in a rapid 1:10.60, and stretches him out to a mile. In both his recent sprint scores, Ledbury was reserved just off the early pace by Stephan Heiler, who retains the mount.

Free Pour is Ledbury's only rival with early foot, and Heiler has the option of tracking that rival, who breaks just to his outside in post 5, or assuming command.

Awesome Devil, coming out of a second-place effort to repeat winner Churchbridge at this level on May 7, and Winspear, with the advantage of the rail and leading rider Quincy Welch up, are legitimate threats from off the pace should the leaders duel through rapid early fractions.

* Racing secretary Russ Armstrong received eight nominations for the June 10 Duchess of York, headed by Ken Pearson Memorial winner Wild Bender. Hastings-based trainer Dave Forster, who enjoyed much success shipping here last spring, is expected to bring the multiple stakes winner Socorro Country for the 1 1/16-mile Duchess of York.