08/15/2007 12:00AM

New Heritage Stakes gets old-timer


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Two new $10,000 races for older Saskatchewan-breds kick off Heritage Stakes weekend here at Marquis Downs on Friday night. Beau Ring heads the Lakeland Heritage for colts and geldings, while Picture the Answer tops the Horizon Heritage for fillies and mares.

The Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society added both races, run over a mile, to the stakes schedule this year in an effort to provide further incentive to breed and race in Saskatchewan. Saturday's card features four more Heritage races, for Saskatchewan-bred horses of each gender, ages 2 and 3, offering purses of $20,000 each.

Beau Ring is one of the richest runners to have ever been bred in the province and has taken home numerous titles. Now 10 years old with earnings of $167,911, Beau Ring returns to Marquis Downs after running primarily at Assiniboia Downs for the past few seasons.

Beau Ring now runs for a $3,000 claiming price there, but is still very competitive with a win and four placings from seven outings this year. All his best efforts have come at or near Friday's one-mile distance.

Beau Ring's main competition figures to come from Wind Dancer, Saskatchewan horse of the year in 2005, and a trio of horses who were prominent in these Heritage events earlier in their careers, Stop the Act, Extended Credit and Lambrose.

Picture the Answer and Brite Steel, both former champion older mares in the province, are the most prominent names in the Horizon Heritage. But neither Picture the Answer nor Brite Steel has been better than third from 11 combined starts in 2007, all against the top mares on the grounds.

Allourwishes and Shadazzle finished just three-quarters of a length apart when running one-two in an open allowance race two weeks ago, with Picture the Answer another six lengths back in third.

Both Allourwishes and Shadazzle won or placed in Heritage races in their younger days.