07/12/2012 1:18PM

Northlands: Claresmiezie tops inaugural running of Red Smith

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It is appropriate the $50,000 Ky Alta Handicap will share the stage with the inaugural running of the R.K. “Red” Smith Handicap at Northlands Park Saturday. Smith trained Ky Alta and many other stars at Northlands Park over his long career.

Smith, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004, is close to reaching 2,500 wins. With 2,492 wins Smith will surely make it to the mark before the season is over. He currently has about 30 horses in training.

“Fancy As has to be the highlight of my career,” said Smith, who is 74.

Fancy As dominated Western Canada as a 3-year-old in 2001. He won the Alberta Derby at Stampede Park, the Canadian Derby at Northlands, and the B.C. Derby as well as beating older horses in the Premiers at Hastings. He was owned by Smith and his wife, Linda.

Smith, who won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s leading trainer in 1977, said he was going to enjoy himself on Saturday.

“This is just an incredible honor,” he said.

Claresmiezie will try and stretch her considerable speed to a mile when she runs in the $50,000 Red Smith, which drew eight 3-year-old fillies and goes as the seventh race.

Claresmiezie, trained by Greg Tracy, is coming off an easy five-length win in the six-furlong Chariot Chaser at Northlands June 17. Tracy was pleased she drew outside of Plethora, who is coming off an impressive front-running win in a first-level allowance race for trainer Craig Smith June 9.

“It should help her settle instead of having to be hustled from an inside post,” said Tracy.

Rico Walcott rides Claresmiezie.

If Plethora, who drew the rail, and Claresmieze get carried away early it could set up nicely for Commander Sue, who rallied to finish second in the Chariot Chaser.

Ky Alta: Dougs Buddy risks local record

Dougs Buddy will try to keep his perfect record at Northlands intact when he runs in the Ky Alta. The one-mile race for 3-year-olds drew seven horses and goes as the eighth race.

Trainer Joan Petrowski did a great job of having Dougs Buddy ready to roll when he came off a long layoff to win the Western Canada Handicap June 16. In his previous race he had a rough trip when he finished last in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot at Delta Downs last Nov. 11. Dougs Buddy won all of his starts at Northlands last year, including the one-mile Canadian Juvenile.

Stephan Heiler rode Dougs Buddy for the first time in the Western Canada and will retain the mount.

Dougs Buddy will have to deal with undefeated Up Jumps a Monster early and then try to hold off Clear the Runway late.

Up Jumps a Monster is undefeated in three races, all sprints for trainer Rob Chabot.

Ampsterband, trained by Tim Rycroft, is coming off a sharp win over Toccetive in a $32,000 optional claiming race June 23.