08/16/2002 12:00AM

New game without 'Shogun'


EDMONTON, Alberta - With Alberta and Manitoba Derby champion Lord Shogun on the shelf, Saturday's $150,000 Canadian Derby has taken on a radically different complexion.

The Grade 3 Canadian Derby, at 1 3/8 miles, is the highlight of the Northlands meeting.

Reports had been circulating since the Manitoba Derby that Lord Shogun, who is based in Vancouver, had suffered a leg injury at Assiniboia Downs.

This resulted in an unexpected surge in nominations, dashing fears that Lord Shogun's dominant presence would lead to one of the shortest fields in this race's history. Instead, 13 nominations were received, including three fillies.

The fillies had their own derby here a week ago, the Sonoma, won so convincingly by Sweet Monarch that her trainer, Dale Greenwood, decided she merited a second chance against the boys.

Sweet Monarch romped in the Lilac at Stampede Park this spring, prompting her connections to enter her in the Alberta Derby. She finished a solid fourth, and with better racing luck might have been second.

Trainer and part-owner Dave Cotey has nominated both the filly Lady Shari and the colt Mind Body Soul, both based in Ontario. Cotey is keeping his options open.

The other entered filly is Reeyre.

Sir Deuces, Go Go Tommy Joe, and Thundering Herd, who finished 1-2-3 here in the 1 5/16-mile Count Lathum, have all been nominated.

Lord Shogun's defection rules out a potential speed duel with Thundering Herd, who showed the way to the last turn in the Count Lathum and held on for third money.

Vancouver may still be represented by nominee No Time Flat.

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