08/03/2002 12:00AM

Lord Shogun battle-ready for Manitoba


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Lord Shogun rides a four-race win streak into Monday's $100,000 Manitoba Derby and will be the one to beat in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds at Assiniboia Downs.

The Manitoba Derby, a Grade 3 race, is the highlight of the biggest day of the meeting.

Monday's card also features the $30,000 Wheat City and Jack Hardy and the $40,000 Winnipeg Futurity.

Lord Shogun, trained by Robert Van Overschot, won his maiden in his final start as a 2-year-old at Hastings Park. He began his 3-year-old campaign with an allowance victory at Hastings before moving on to Alberta to win Stampede Park's Alberta Derby and Northlands Park's Ky Alta.

Lord Shogun will be part of the pace Monday, and the amount of company he has will depend on the tactics employed by Montana Rush.

Ekati probably will challenge for the early lead outside of Lord Shogun. If Montana Rush also goes for the lead from his rail draw, then Lord Shogun could find himself in the middle of a three-horse speed duel.

Quincy Welch will ride Lord Shogun, replacing regular rider David Wilson.

Montana Rush was a winner at Canterbury Park in his only start at 2.

Although winless in 11 starts this year, Montana Rush has finished second in the Canterbury Park Breeders' Cup Derby and St. Paul Stakes, as well as the Nebraska Derby at Fonner Park.

Trained by Doug Oliver, Montana Rush returns to the dirt after running on turf in his last three starts.

Ekati rides a two-race win streak into the Manitoba Derby, including the Derby Trial Stakes here in his latest, and is the best hope of the five local horses entered.

A winner by 9 1/2 and 16 1/4 lengths in those two starts, Ekati was able to get a loose lead in those races but that is unlikely to happen here.

Beau Pip, Silver Greek, Bodyslam, and Coldstream would appear to need a three-horse speed duel in order to win Monday.

Beau Pip won the restricted Manitoba Stakes two starts ago, and then was fourth behind Ekati in the Derby Trial.

Silver Greek finished fifth in the Manitoba and comes into the Derby off his maiden victory, while Bodyslam was seventh in the Manitoba and was an allowance winner in his most recent outing.

Coldstream, a two-time winner in the claiming ranks, finished second behind Bodyslam in his last start.

* Kalfaari will be looking for his third stakes win of the year when he faces 11 rivals in the one-mile Wheat City, for 3-year-olds and up. Alberta invader Judge Ruckus should be the choice of nine 2-year-olds in the six-furlong Winnipeg Futurity, and Bitdaboss could be the one to beat in the field of nine for the one-mile Jack Hardy for 3-year-old fillies.