03/31/2008 12:00AM

Mr Muffin Man owns edge in fitness


CALGARY, Alberta - It was a struggle, but Stampede Park racing secretary Russ Armstrong and his staff were able to assemble a seven-race card for the first Wednesday evening program of the meeting after leaving the entry box open for two days.

With the assistance of a few friendly trainers and some hustling from several jockey agents Sunday morning - normally a time of rest and relaxation - the meeting's first program of six-furlong sprints was crafted.

The sixth-race feature, a $32,000 optional claimer, drew a competitive field of seven 3-year-olds.

The only double winner in the field, Little Davey, carries high weight of 120 pounds and breaks from post 6 as he makes his first start of the season.

Little Davey has trained well all spring for Ron Grieves, shows three strong five-furlong works, and has tactical speed to gain position in the run to the first turn.

Little Davey's main rival is Mr Muffin Man, who breaks just to his inside under Rickey Walcott and has the advantage of training over the winter in Louisiana, where he made one start at Delta Downs.

Early in the season, these types of runners have a distinct advantage in fitness. Greg Tracy, the leading trainer at this meet last year, will saddle Mr Muffin Man.

Kris the Red, third in his Alberta debut going four furlongs on opening night, drew post 2 with Jake Barton and kept good company in California last summer.