09/04/2008 11:00PM

Look for tight finish in Sales Stakes


EDMONTON, Alberta – Sunday’s $50,000 Sales Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings drew six entrants, including stakes winners Brazen Son, Ballintoy, and Garys Buddy. The lineup also includes the improving Smile N Wave, who merits the title of the “now horse” off his steady rise from the lower claiming ranks.

The Sales Stakes, a one-mile race, runs as the eighth race and promises to be a competitive affair with Garys Buddy, winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada on July 1, expected to prompt the early fractions along with Alberta’s 2007 champion juvenile, Brazen Son.

With the ability of Garys Buddy to stay over a route of ground in question, and Brazen Son coming into the race off just one sprint start this year, this race could come down to a stretch duel between Ballintoy and Smile N Wave.

Ballintoy, who has run with the top 3-year-olds on this circuit this year, won the six-furlong furlong President’s this spring at Stampede Park and was third to Papa Time in the Count Lathum on Aug. 2 in a race he surely needed after being off for seven weeks. He has continued to work forwardly for trainer Rob Chabot with this race in mind, and regular rider Stephan Heiler sticks with him.

Smile N Wave won his maiden for $12,000 this spring and has added three more victories while moving up in class. He comes into this race off a visually impressive allowance win at 6 1/2 furlongs, which earned him a 79 Beyer. His mid-pack running style is a good fit in this spot.