03/19/2008 11:00PM

Pretty Beaucat returns


CALGARY, Alberta - A well-matched group of seven older fillies and mares headed by stakes-placed Pretty Beaucat and Sassy Sarah runs in the feature here Saturday at Stampede Park

The optional $40,000 claimer at four furlongs is one of the more wide-open affairs on the eight-race card.

Pretty Beaucat opened her 2007 campaign by winning a four-furlong race here on April 1. She proved that was no fluke when she lost by only a neck in the Sales Stakes next out, then yielded late to Alberta's 2007 champion older mare, She's Italian, in the M.R. Jenkins Memorial.

Trained by Rick Hedge, Pretty Beaucat, 5, has run her best over this course and has prepped smartly for her 2008 debut.

Pretty Beaucat breaks from posto5 under Perry Winters and faces stiff opposition from Sassy Sarah, who starts just to her outside.

Sassy Sarah, from the powerful stable of trainer Ron Grieves, had a banner campaign last year at age 4 with five victories, beginning with a four-furlong score on opening weekend. Her work tab shows she is ready, and regular rider Real Simard will be aboard.

Ella Maria drew post 4 with Dan Boudreau up and has excellent early foot. She is the one to catch, and she has two bullet three-furlong works.

R Lucinda, a winner of only three races lifetime, has plenty of hard-luck second-place finishes, and is trained by Stu Simon, who does well annually at this meet.