08/12/2008 11:00PM

Level Red targeting third in row


EDMONTON, Alberta - Level Red has found a winning level and distance here in the $30,000 claiming ranks at a flat mile, and will seek his third straight victory versus five rivals in the featured seventh race Friday evening.

A 4-year-old gelding who was claimed for $50,000 in November at Hollywood Park by Ken and Joan Amthor, Level Red can "win out" his purchase price by completing the hat trick and is the one to catch once again.

Level Red's first two starts in Calgary this spring were disappointments, following a long ship from California and an extended wait at the Canadian border. Trainer Gord Amthor said the Kentucky-bred son of Aptitude was "not himself" for several weeks.

But Level Red obviously handled the shorter ship to Edmonton just fine. Regular rider Shannon Beauregard will break the probable pacesetter from post 4.

The field does not feature an abundance of early speed. It may be up to Holy Smoke Ya, who has shown speed in his last two outings - including a hard-fought tally on July 20 in a four-horse blanket finish - to prompt the pace.

Holy Smoke Ya drew the rail, and Quincy Welch picks up the mount from Beauregard. However, this open $30,000 company is tougher than the nonwinners-of-three allowance ranks he exits.

Oneneverknows, a 4-year-old gelding, finished three-quarters of a length behind Level Red last out, and there is a five-pound swing in the weights this time.