05/18/2004 11:00PM

No horse can be ruled out


CALGARY, Alberta - With large pools and attractive payouts, the superfecta has rapidly become the exotic wager of choice for Stampede Park bettors. Friday's featured fifth race, a conditioned optional claimer at six furlongs, provides one of the most interesting scenarios of the season.

There is plenty of speed in the field of 10, including Smooth Cruiser, who led most of the way in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship on May 8.

Some promising runners, such as Nugrayontheblock and Double Doc, make their seasonal debuts, and it is difficult to eliminate any runner from the equation.

Let go at nearly 25-1 in the Sprint, Smooth Cruiser looked to be an upset winner before he lugged out in deep stretch, prompting his disqualification from second to fifth.

Smooth Cruiser drew the outside post, and rider Sean Evans will be forced to send into the first turn in hopes of clearing early.

Sweet Drummer moves up off a pair of front-running victories and will be in the hunt early, as will King Jeremy and Fuhr Ore.

Double Doc drew the rail and could get a stalking trip with leading rider Quincy Welch up.

Nugrayontheblock, beaten a neck last September to Manitoba's best older horse, Sir Pucker, figures to be rolling late.

Trainer Ira Donald saddles the uncoupled duo of Mr Don and Free Pour, 4-year-olds with good opening efforts under their belts.

Mr Don exits a sprint May 7 in which he was beaten a neck and a head by Italian Sunset and Code Name Fred. Free Pour came with a four-wide move the same day to run second to Fussy's Kid.