09/04/2007 11:00PM

Only three try to take on Standoff


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Standoff, the standout leader of the local handicap division, takes on just three challengers in the $6,000 City Centre Bingo Sweepstakes Handicap here at Marquis Downs on Friday evening. The 1 1/16-mile City Centre Bingo is the feature on the next-to-last card of the 2007 meeting.

Standoff will be seeking his fifth straight victory. He has actually crossed the wire first in his last five outings but was disqualified in the Early's Farm and Garden Handicap in late June. Standoff, with regular rider Valentino McBean, has stakes wins in the Twin Charities and Early Bird handicaps as well as a couple of allowance scores during the streak.

Second in this race in 2006, Standoff should have no problem with the distance. His stalking style always keeps the leaders in range.

Notafigment makes his second start here after scoring an easy victory against $3,200 claimers in a one-mile race on Aug. 24. Notafigment's winning time of 1:40.40 was just .20 slower than Standoff's in the Twin Charities Handicap two races later, so that definitely puts him into consideration for the upset.

Notafigment had been running at Alberta's Stampede Park and Northlands Park this season and used his early turn of foot to win a $7,500 conditioned claiming race. Leading rider Tim Moccasin rides Notafigment.

Flying Russian tries Standoff for the third time this year. He finished sixth when facing Standoff in a July 7 allowance race and third in the Twin Charities, and he did not finish closer than four lengths to Standoff. Whirly Weekend rounds out the field.