04/23/2003 11:00PM

Patton's Victory seeks sixth straight

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Patton's Victory puts his five-race win streak on the line in Saturday's $100,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Handicap, this track's signature race. The 1 1/16-mile Bosselman drew a field of eight 3-year-olds and up.

Trained by Stanley Roberts for the Highway 1 Racing Stable, Patton's Victory began his streak with a 14-length romp over $7,500 claiming company last fall. He returned to action at Oaklawn Park this spring and has worked his way up in class, winning the Grade 3 Fifth Season at Oaklawn in his last start. Regular rider Alex Birzer will be aboard Patton's Victory from post 2 at high weight of 120 pounds.

The main threat to Patton's Victory could be Cowboy Stuff, an Iowa-bred riding a two-race streak of his own. Trained by Kelly Von Hemel for this race, Cowboy Stuff does his best running on the lead in route races. Terry Thompson will try to rate Cowboy Stuff's speed from post 3.

Patton's Victory and Cowboy Stuff both figure to show speed, as do Wild Lies, Proceed With Care, and Tonight Rainbow. The track here figures to be a bit tiring following rains that saturated the area Wednesday and Thursday, which along with an expected fast pace, could set things up for a late runner.

One of the beneficiaries of a fast pace would be Dusty Spike, who is winless in four tries this year. Last year, he competed against some of the better 3-year-olds in the country, running in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and the Lone Star Derby. Kerry Kretzer will be in from Fair Meadows Tulsa to ride Dusty Spike, who will break from post 7.

Although Tate's Way won the April 12 Dowd Mile, the local prep for the Bosselman, in front-running fashion, he also can come from off the pace. A year ago, Tate's Way made a bold move from well off the pace to capture the Dowd and then faltered after attending the pace in the Bosselman.

If leading rider Perry Compton takes Tate's Way off the pace Saturday, they could find a host of horses coming back to them in the stretch. Tate's Way drew post 8.