06/17/2001 11:00PM

Riders gird for border skirmish


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Hastings Park and Emerald Downs announced their teams for the Cam-Am Jockey Challenge that begins at Emerald Downs June 29 and concludes at Hastings Park on Monday, July 2. Each team will consist of four riders from each track.

David Wilson heads a Hastings Park contingent that includes Sam Krasner, Chris Loseth, and Brian Johnson. Fernando Serna and Frank Fuentes have been named as alternates.

Wilson is currently second in the rider standings with 33 wins. Leading rider Pedro Alvarado and Mark Patzer, third in the standings, won't compete because previous drug charges preclude them from entering the United States.

Ben Russell is running away with the Emerald Downs jockey race with 52 wins. He leads a team that includes Javier Matias, Gallyn Mitchell, and Frank Gonsalves. Hector Ventura Jr. is the alternate.

Three races will be held at each track and riders will be randomly chosen following the draw for post positions. Twelve points will go to the winning rider of a race and every rider will earn points down to a half-point for eighth. The winning team will receive a perpetual trophy that will reside at the champion's track for one year and the jockey that earns the most points will be crowned the champion jockey.

Chris Loseth has fond memories of winning the individual championship as part of an American team from Longacres earlier in his career. "They're a lot of fun, and anything that brings interest to our sport is a good idea," said Loseth. "I'll be rooting for Canada this time, though."