05/27/2003 11:00PM

Rocheleau starts quickly, leads jockeys

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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - The live season began without a hitch last weekend and Serge Rocheleau, last year's leading jockey, picked up right where he left off by winning three races on Friday night's card. He then won another race Saturday for a total of four wins from 12 mounts.

Sheldon Chickeness registered his own hat trick Saturday to sit just one win behind Rocheleau in the standings.

Trainer Don Bjarnarson, who started six horses, won three races in addition to a second and a third and is atop the trainer standings.

Both Eldon Keshane and George Gervais won two races.

Ms. Lady Rose Saskatchewan's best

Rocheleau was among the honorees at the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's 2002 awards ceremony May 17.

Gerald Wilson's Ms. Lady Rose was named Saskatchewan's 2002 horse of the year, based on the strength of her five Marquis Downs victories.

Ms. Lady Rose, trained by Tom Gardipy Jr., last year's leading local conditioner, was also named champion older filly or mare in the province.

Beau Ring was named champion older horse on the grounds, keeping alive his streak of being named a Saskatchewan divisional champion in every year he has raced.

Beau Ring was the champion 2-year-old in 1999, the top 3-year-old in 2000, and now has been the top older male in the province for the past two years. He also was named the province's horse of the year for 2000 and 2001.

Top Stage Dancer, the leading Saskatchewan-bred money winner of 2002, was named champion 3-year-old filly, and Good Old Sprite was the champion 3-year-old male.

Picture the Answer, winner of the Prairie Lily Sales Stakes, was named champion juvenile filly, and Quiz the Wizard was named champion 2-year-old male.

Claimer of the year honors went to Smart Graustark.