07/03/2002 12:00AM

'Ruckus' upsets Wild Rose


EDMONTON, Alberta - There were three stakes run at Northlands last weekend, including the first of the meet for 3-year-olds. But the most interesting race came on Friday night when Viva Ruckus pulled an upset in a strong field in the $40,000 Wild Rose for older fillies and mares. It was her fifth win of the year.

In a field that included 2001 local champion 3-year-old filly Little Lolitta and Hastings Park import Grooms Derby, the 7-year-old Viva Ruckus showed she still has lots in the tank, beating Slewability and earning $25,200.

Jockey Real Simard had Viva Ruckus stalk Grooms Derby and Little Lolitta while in third place early in the race. Viva Ruckus rallied four wide through the final turn to take the lead at the head of the stretch, and she held off a hard-charging Slewability by a neck. She paid $12.50.

* Dark Fuse became the early favorite for the Aug. 24 Canadian Derby on Saturday when he won the first prep for the race, the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada Handicap. It was the second stakes win of the year for Dark Fuse.

The question he still has to answer is whether he can handle the 1 3/8-mile distance of the Canadian Derby. His next start is likely to be the Ky Alta at 1 1/16 miles on July 13.

- On Monday Fancy Prancer was dominant wiring fellow 3-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Chariot Chaser. Her next start will come on July 20 in the Northlands Oaks. She could eventually challenge males in the Canadian Derby.

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