08/29/2007 11:00PM

Little guns get to take their shot


EDMONTON, Alberta - Absent some of the division's biggest bears, the door is wide open for any one of the eight well-matched older horses in the feature race here at Northlands Park on Saturday, an optional $40,000 claimer at one mile. The allowance conditions exclude any horse who has won $20,000 in a race at a distance of one mile or longer in 2007, which effectively eliminated the likes of Test Boy, Teagues Fight or True Metropolitan.

The favorite in Saturday's race should be Trick of the North. Trick of the North's last win came under similar conditions June 24, but since then the 6-year-old has two seconds and a fourth in three stakes, losing each race to one of the stalwarts listed above. Trick of the North has drawn post 6 and is scheduled to be ridden by Perry Winters.

Tejano Trouble is another who should benefit from the absence of more elite rivals. Tejano Trouble also won an optional claimer in June before moving up to challenge stakes types. Most recently, he finished 3 1/4 lengths behind True Metropolitan but two lengths ahead of Trick of the North in the $50,000 Westerner.

Tejano Trouble has the services of Jake Barton and they start from post 7.

Other major players in this race include Laketon, the 23-1 winner of the Sun Sprint Championship, and Plagiarist, who took the Stampede Park Sprint Championship in the spring.