09/24/2001 11:00PM

Longshots rule Fall Classic


EDMONTON, Alberta - Saturday's Alberta Fall Classic series at Northlands Park was full of surprises, as only one of the seven stakes on the card was won by the favorite.

Leading a parade of upsetters was Robnroy, who at 18-1 did the unthinkable, overtaking Timely Ruckus down the lane and winning the $40,000 Red Diamond Express. Robnroy, a 5-year-old trained by Pam McDougall, came from five lengths off the pace and went four wide on the final turn to win his first stakes of the year and push his earnings past $150,000.

The only winning favorite came in the Alberta Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, when Brighton Belle went to the front and never looked back with Chris McGregor in the irons.

"She's pretty quick," said McGregor. "She was in great condition and ran a perfect race."

The most competitive race of the day was the $50,000 Fall Classic Distaff, which had no fewer than five legitimate contenders. Northern Neechitoo probably clinched honors as the top horse at the meet by winning it, her fifth victory of the meeting. She won by going wire to wire. The favorite, Little Lolitta, stalked the leader before faltering and finishing fourth.

Sixthirtyjoe had an opportunity to finish his season on a high note in the $44,000 Beaufort for 3-year-old colts and geldings, but he was caught in the stretch by They Call Me Cody.

Highland Leader scored an upset in the $50,000 Alberta Breeders Handicap for older horses.

In the 2-year-old features, Reeyre won the $40,000 Sturgeon River for fillies and Exclusive Banker wired the field in the $40,000 Alberta Premier's Futurity for colts and geldings.