Updated on 09/15/2011 1:04PM

'Ruckus' in the hunt


EDMONTON, Alberta - With his handicap star Rancour already in line for year-end laurels, trainer Ernie Keller will send out 8-year-year-old Timely Ruckus to lay claim to another championship Saturday at Northlands Park in the $40,000 Red Diamond Express.

Timely Ruckus, packing 124 pounds, including his regular pilot Stephan Heiler, takes a winning streak of three into this 6 1/2-furlong sprint. The Red Diamond Express is one of seven stakes races on Alberta Fall Classic Day, which showcases the Alberta breeding industry.

Keller's chief concern is that there may be no more races here this season for Timely Ruckus.

"It is a shame that many horsemen have to take the shoes off their top performers so early," said Keller, noting that the Oct. 13 Canadian Juvenile is the only remaining stakes on the schedule. "I hope that there will be an allowance written for these horses. I would even run him in a mile race."

Hailed as Alberta's champion sprinter the past three years, Timely Ruckus also has won an allowance at a flat mile this year and as a 3-year-old he won the

1 1/16-mile Count Lathum.

With a second straight win in the Red Diamond Express, he would also earn consideration for Alberta's horse of the year laurels, an achievement that has so far eluded him.

Timely Ruckus will be conceding 12 pounds to Timboruck, another 8-year-old veteran, who won this event on two occasions and was the circuit's champion sprinter in 1997.

The others in the field are Acid Rain, C D Ruckus, Derby Duke, Red Exit, and Robnroy.