07/18/2001 11:00PM

Rouge Royale can cement his status


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Rouge Royale, Saskatchewan's reigning champion older male, appears ready to reaffirm his claim on that title when he faces just three rivals at Marquis Downs in Saturday's $6,000 Coca Cola Classic at a mile.

Owned by Stan Schmidt, Rouge Royale won the Early's Top Seeded by a length last time out, completing the mile in a sharp 1:39.74.

Rouge Royale, an 8-year-old trained by Sandra Foster and ridden by Serge Rocheleau, is the 123-pound highweight in the Coca Cola Classic. As usual, he figures to sit off the pace, which should be contested by The Reve and Star of the Show, and make his run in the final three-eighths.

Beau Ring defeated Rouge Royale two races ago in a one-mile allowance prep for the Early's Top Seeded, earning a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 82. In the Early's Top Seeded, Beau Ring broke a touch slowly and could only close for third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

Beau Ring, last year's top local 3-year-old male, was second in the Inaugural. He also has a stalking running style. Hugh Huston retains the call on Beau Ring, who has finished in the money in 13 of 14 lifetime starts.

Star of the Show opened the meet with a high-level claiming score before wiring the field in the Inaugural. Last time out, in the Early's Top Seeded, Star of the Show was just collared by Rouge Royale. Leading rider Isiah Sala retains the mount.

Arriving from Alberta is The Reve, who will be ridden by Andrew Scarlett. The Reve has won three straight, at distances of a mile or longer, with his streak beginning at the $4,250 claiming level and his latest score for an $8,000 tag.