07/30/2003 11:00PM

Marquis Downs: 'Wizard' favored


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - A field of four 3-year old colts and geldings will compete over one mile in the $6,500 City of Bridges Sophomore at Marquis Downs, and Quiz the Wizard appears to be the logical favorite.

Quiz the Wizard won the Western Heritage here last year, and his only start of 2003 has been a winning effort. This race, like the Western Heritage, is restricted to Saskatchewan-breds.

Trained by Bob Barr for his wife, Gail, Quiz the Wizard won his maiden and the Western Heritage in quick succession last summer and was then made the favorite in the rich Prairie Lily Sales Stake.

However, Quiz the Wizard was done after a half-mile in the big race and faded badly to finish last as he was eased down the lane.

This year has been trying for Quiz the Wizard, whose one start came in a June 6 nonwinners-of-three claiming race on a muddy track.

After some downtime with a virus, Quiz the Wizard now returns to action with the best part of the season ahead of him: the $10,000 Shortgrass Heritage on Aug. 16 and the $15,000 Saskatchewan Derby on Sept. 6.

Among the other contenders, Stop the Act won his first two races of the season here, going six furlongs each time. He then was second twice to the speedy Bedford Road. One of those runner-up efforts came in the Saskatoon Handicap.

Bedford Road underlined his quality with a second-place finish against open allowance foes at Northlands on Wednesday evening.

Extended Credit dueled for a half-mile with Bedford Road before tiring in the Saskatoon Handicap. Since then, Extended Credit has run second and third in allowance races. A winner of the male division of the Saskatchewan Futurity last year, Extended Credit will race for the third consecutive weekend.

Completing the field is Sifting Sand, who was a winner of his first two starts this spring in half-mile sprints. He has tired badly in his last two versus Bedford Road, Stop the Act, and Extended Credit.