07/09/2003 11:00PM

'Magic' tops tough allowance


EDMONTON, Alberta - Saturday's feature at Northlands brings together an excellent group of 10 allowance mares sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs.

The field for the $19,000 race includes Alberta's 2002 champion mare, A Ray of Magic, who was second to Sly Lady in the Duchess of York at Stampede Park June 7.

Another of Saturday's starters, S.L. Charmer, was third in that race, as she has been in all four of her outings this year.

Viva Ruckus and Tahquitz Pride are coming off victories, for claiming prices of $22,000 and $28,000, respectively.

Other scheduled starters are Slewability, Code's Decree, Sister Brass, Hoist Anchor, Tuktoyaktuk, and Confident.

Anthony Stephen, a newcomer from Vancouver, will be making his local debut aboard Confident.

Several in the field may be ducking Sly Lady, who won three stakes during the Calgary meet. Sly Lady tops the list of 13 nominees for the $40,000 John Patrick, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares here next Saturday.

* Next Sunday's feature, the $40,000 Ky Alta, also attracted 13 nominees. But at least two of those are unlikely starters, as Illusive Force is entered in Saturday's Toronto Cup at Woodbine, and Sand Rush in Sunday's Derby Trial at Assiniboia Downs.

Taiaslew, Alberta's champion 2-year-old and winner of the Alberta Derby at Stampede Park this spring, will be the horse to beat in the $35,000 Derby Trial.

Taiaslew is slated to stay on at Winnipeg for the $100,000 Manitoba Derby Aug. 4 and return to Northlands for the $150,000 Canadian Derby Aug. 23.