09/07/2005 11:00PM

Raylene faces the boys in Speed to Spare


EDMONTON, Alberta - Raylene, winner of the City of Edmonton Distaff in her last start, takes on the boys in Saturday's 60th running of the $100,000 Speed to Spare here at Northlands Park.

Raylene has competed with males before. Two years ago Raylene won the Canadian Derby at Saturday's distance of 1 3/8 miles, and when she ran out of filly-mare opportunities at Northlands this season, trainer Rod Haynes opted for the Speed to Spare rather than shipping her to another track.

No mare has won the Speed to Spare since Leo's Lady won back-to-back runnings in 1947 and 1948.

Raylene, who has been reunited with Rickey Walcott since returning from two campaigns at Woodbine, will carry 123 pounds, getting three pounds from her seven male rivals.

Beau Brass, owned by Tom White and trained by Rick Hedge, won last year's Speed to Spare and comes into Saturday's race with runner-up finishes in three consecutive stakes. Real Simard retains the mount.

Deputy Country, a 7-year-old who is Alberta's reigning horse of the year, emerged from early-season doldrums to win the Spangled Jimmy, Klondike, and Westerner handicaps, with Beau Brass second each time. Deputy Country's renaissance occurred when trainer Red Smith decided to put Leanne Painter back in the irons.

Front-running Deputy Country, a 7-year-old owned by Arnold Heppner, will run uncoupled with stablemate Kat Kool.

The Speed to Spare field also includes Bubblegum Kid, who won the 2002 Speed to Spare and was fourth and third in subsequent runnings. He is trained by Joan Petrowski.