08/31/2004 11:00PM

Pinchme tries to put loss behind

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Pinchme, a Quebec-bred 4-year-old gelding, seeks to regain top form in Friday's featured allowance. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint is for nonwinners of two and attracted a six-horse field.

Trained by Paul LeMasurier, Pinchme finished seventh in the 1 5/16-mile Westerner Handicap here Aug. 22. Since then, Rick Hayes has purchased him privately from the Three Amigos Stable.

Before the Westerner, his first stakes attempt, Pinchme had shown promising form. He was runner-up in a $23,000 claiming race for maidens, then won a special weight maiden race.

Next time out, Pinchme was a close third to Rokeby's Nugget and Hatzic Lake, giving his owners the encouragement to try him in the Westerner.

Sam Shirley, who rode him in the Westerner, has been given the return mount on Pinchme.

Smooth Drummer is coming off a maiden victory in the slop as a 3-2 favorite. Rickey Walcott will again be aboard after riding him to his victory, which came on the same card as the Westerner.

Another strong contender should be Pauper's Pocket, owned and trained by Sylvia Reid. Real Simard will ride Pauper's Pocket, who has had a second and a fifth in allowance races since his maiden victory.

Little Grizz, from Don Gilkyson's stable, will make his third start. He won his maiden at first asking, and his best effort since was a fourth in an allowance.