09/15/2003 12:00AM

Painter has made splash at this meet


EDMONTON, Alberta - With just one month to go before the end of another Thoroughbred season at Northlands Park, it's fair to suggest that the story of the meeting could be jockey Leanne Painter.

Heading into this week's action, Painter was second behind Quincy Welch in purse money, with $691,745; second in mounts (323); and third in wins (42).

In just her second year following her successful apprenticeship, Painter, an Alberta native, has made a big splash and is now one of the busiest riders in western Canada, something she certainly didn't expect at the start of the spring meet in Calgary.

"I think it all started this spring when I came in with a different attitude," said Painter, after a Sunday afternoon card in which she finished second four times.

Painter has already won six stakes this year, including three aboard A Shaky Start, who outlasted Canadian Derby winner Raylene in both the $40,000 Chariot Chaser and $75,000 Sonoma.

Along with success comes better mounts, and the end result has been increased confidence. As a "bug," Painter offered a lightweight option for owners and trainers, but after her performance in 2003, she is now getting the call on talent alone.

"I set out to accomplish some things and one was to win a stakes, and I've won six," she said. "I've been trying to improve overall, but the biggest thing is just getting the opportunity. It's great to see people place their confidence in me with money on the line."

- Northlands has extended its 2003 meeting by six days, adding programs Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26.