04/30/2004 12:00AM

Race turns into battle of sexes


CALGARY, Alberta - When an open allowance for 3-year-old males failed to fill Wednesday at Stampede Park, attracting just four entrants, and the corresponding race for fillies came up light, racing secretary Barry McGrath made the call to open up the race to both sexes.

That race became Sunday's $23,000 seventh race, a six-furlong allowance that has attracted some of Alberta's best juveniles of 2003. More importantly, the race will afford some promising 3-year-olds a prep before they test the waters in the May 15 President's and May 16 Mount Royal, the first two races on the local stakes schedule for 3-year-olds.

Chief Mtn, a visually impressive winner of a conditioned allowance here April 16, drew the rail in the field of seven and will likely be favored in a race where contention runs deep.

Fly Esteem, ineligible for the one-other-than prep that Chief Mtn won by six lengths, captured the restricted Alberta Premier's Futurity last September and will be part of the pace Sunday.

Griffin's Wake, a lightly raced but highly regarded Kentucky-bred from Dale Greenwood's shed row, has an impressive work tab and should get a stalking trip.

Rounding out the field will be Canadian Northern, who won out his first two conditions in good style, and a trio of fillies: Alberta's 2-year-old champion Classa Red Wine; Waikoloa, upset winner of the Freedom of the City last October; and longshot Wintuition.