07/16/2007 11:00PM

Racing schedule picks up

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Northlands Park plays host to the first of two Thursday evening cards to coincide with the annual Capital Ex fair, formerly known as Klondike Days, and racing secretary Fred Hilts has assembled a nine-race program.

Deputy Wild Child drops a notch on the claiming ladder to face five fillies and mares in Thursday's feature, a $22,000 claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Hilts will be one of the busier individuals during the 10-day exhibition with nine cards to fill in 11 days. Only Monday and Tuesday are scheduled as dark days.

o Banjo Babe ($25.20) upset favored She's Italian in the John Patrick Handicap last Sunday under a perfectly judged ride from Stephan Heiler. Banjo Babe was allowed to settle into stride early in the one-mile test for fillies and mares and swung three wide turning for home to post a head decision.

Footprint ($9.80) dominated seven rival 3-year-olds in Saturday's Ky Alta, breaking very sharply for Real Simard to assume immediate command and making every pole a winning. He won by 5 1/2 lengths over a closing Sin Toro. Footprint ran the mile in 1:36.40 and has staked his claim as the leading local hopeful for the $300,000 Canadian Derby Aug. 25.

Last Friday, Littlemiss Allison ($7.90) romped by 6 3/4 lengths over Highly Explosive in the Princess Margaret.