07/25/2001 11:00PM

Planning early with 'Rockies'


EDMONTON, Alberta - Don't look now, but owner Gordon Wilson is getting primed for another run at the Canadian Derby and his latest hopeful will be on display Friday at Northlands Park in the $30,000 Edmonton Juvenile.

The first stakes of the summer meet for 2-year-old colts and geldings is a six-furlong race that should provide a clue as to whether King o'the Rockies, an Alberta-bred gelding, will be Wilson's next great 3-year-old.

Wilson and his family won the Canadian Derby in 1965 when Chariot Chaser surprised the field by becoming the first filly to win the prestigious race. Wilson had an opportunity to relive the experience last year when he watched Scotman destroy the field on his way to Alberta horse of the year honors and now he has his eyes focused on King o'the Rockies, who will be eligible in 2002.

There's obviously a long way to go, but based on his impressive maiden win in a 5 1/2-furlong race here July 19, he has to be considered one of the long-range favorites.

"We were thrilled to bits with his last trip," Wilson said. "He got a bad start and had to track the field down, but a hole opened and he darted through like a veteran. It's obviously a little early to be looking that far into the future, but we're certainly hopeful."

King o'the Rockies, trained by Pam McDougall, drew the inside post in Friday's 10-horse field and will have Quincy Welch on board. Anderson Trotman rode him in his debut. Another good effort here would encourage McDougall to point King o'the Rockies toward the $62,500 Sale Stake here Aug. 19 and the $50,000 Birdcatcher Sept. 1.