05/11/2003 11:00PM

Raylene, Taiaslew win stakes


CALGARY, Alberta - A rare stakes doubleheader, necessitated by the cancellation of Saturday's card, produced no surprises here Sunday with odds-on favorites Raylene ($3.80) capturing the Mount Royal Handicap and Taiaslew ($3.60) scoring in the President's Handicap over a deep surface rated as "slow."

Raylene, champion of her division in Alberta last year, opened her campaign with a 6 1/4-length victory over Whataweekend under patient handling from leading rider Dave Wilson.

A Kentucky-bred by Tabasco Cat, Raylene faced just four rival 3-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Mount Royal.

Wilson placed Raylene, the 119-pound highweight, in fourth in the run through the first turn and she advanced steadily while three wide down the backstretch.

A single right-handed tap at the head of the lane was the only encouragement needed to propel Raylene to the lead. Wilson then put away his whip and guided the filly home to complete the six furlongs in 1:14.80.

"I was just relieved to get this one out of the way," said Raylene's trainer, Rod Haynes. "I've trained some good fillies over the years, but she has the potential to be the best."

The six-furlong President's, rescheduled from Saturday, belonged to Taiaslew, who broke alertly from post 6 in the field of seven 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Taiaslew, making his seasonal debut, disposed of the front-running Devil's Flame near the quarter pole and was under a hand ride down the lane, completing the six furlongs in 1:14.20. Judge Ruckus was four lengths back in second.