10/08/2004 11:00PM

'Rascal' tops field of future stars

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EDMONTON, Alberta - A field of eight 2-year-olds will start in the eighth running of the $75,000 Canadian Juvenile here Monday.

Since its inception in 1997, the Canadian Juvenile has been an early indicator of contenders for the Canadian Derby the following August. Some of the past winners of the Canadian Juvenile include 2001 Canadian Derby winner Fancy As and Taiaslew, who lost by a length to Raylene in the 2003 Canadian Derby.

Fresh off an impressive win in the $50,000 Alberta Premier's Futurity on Sept. 25, Forever Rascal will start from the outside. Craig Faine returns to ride.

Forever Rascal's primary challenge figures to come from Golden Hunt, the latest in an impressive line of 2-year-olds trained by Greg Tracy. A front-runner, Golden Hunt will have the advantage of the rail in this one-mile affair. Real Simard retains the mount.

Tracy has also entered the only filly in the field, Nessarose, who will attempt to become the first female to win the race. A Kentucky-bred, Nessarose likes to be close to the pace.

Another interesting entrant is Blackjack Willy, who looks to follow up on his impressive maiden win in his first race. Blackjack Willy could be a factor coming off the pace, particularly if the early fractions are fast. He will start from post 2.