07/20/2004 11:00PM

Mile's fine for Double Time


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Double Time's nine-win streak at Marquis Downs was stopped in his last race, and he will try to start another there in Friday's $5,000 Fred Mendel Memorial Handicap.

Double Time, the Saskatchewan horse of the year in 2003, has a solid record here, with 9 wins and 1 second from 11 starts, including four stakes victories. He should relish the one-mile distance of the Mendel. Double Time had two allowance victories and a win in the Early's Farm and Garden Handicap this year before being upset in the allowance prep for this event.

In that race two weeks ago, Double Time dueled with Burlington House, put him away, but could not fend off a late run from Stop the Act.

The speedy Burlington House is entered here, as well as the sprinting Arctic Horizon, so Double Time may have the luxury of stalking their pace duel.

Stop the Act, last year's top 3-year-old male in the province, scored his first victory this year last time out. A winner of five races in 2003, Stop the Act closed from last to win by three-quarters of a length.

Beau Ring and Rouge Royale are former Saskatchewan horses of the year looking to regain their form. Both do their best when running at a mile or more.

Beau Ring, one of the all-time leading money-winning Saskatchewan-breds, has just one third-place finish from three starts this year. He is reunited with jockey Serge Rocheleau for the Mendel. Rocheleau was Beau Ring's regular rider during his 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old campaigns.

Rouge Royale finished third to Stop the Act in his only start of the year. He has won 15 races lifetime. He does his best running from well off the pace and should be moving late.

* Rocheleau leads the jockey race with 26 wins, 11 more than newcomer Haniff Emamalie.

Rocheleau won his 1,000th race on July 10 aboard Steels a First. He is the first Marquis Downs-based rider to reach 1,000 wins, and the July 10 victory was his 974th at Marquis Downs.

* The trainers race is a duel between Russell Gardipy and Don Bjarnarson. Gardipy has 13 wins from 26 starts, while Bjarnarson has 11 victories from 25 starts.