07/09/2001 11:00PM

Scotman struggles in return


EDMONTON, Alberta - Last Saturday's Spangled Jimmy was heralded as the return of Scotman, but the winner, Run Joey Run, had a story line of his own in mind at Northlands Park.

Run Joey Run ($6.70), ridden by Richard Hamel, made a move at the head of the stretch and had an easy time outrunning his stablemate, Tyko Tycoon, to earn his fourth stakes win of the year.

Scotman, Alberta's horse of the year last season, finished last as the 3-5 favorite, beaten 9 3/4 lengths.

Entering the summer meet, the owner of Scotman, Gordon Wilson, was excited about the prospects for his prize 4-year-old.

Many had believed Scotman might ship to Woodbine, but Wilson wanted to leave him on his home turf and have him pointed to the $100,000 Speed to Spare on Sept. 8.

Wilson chose to forego the 6 1/2-furlong Journal here opening night and prepare for the Spangled Jimmy, but what transpired was both disappointing and surprising.

By the time the five-horse field entered the clubhouse turn it was apparent that Scotman was struggling. He continued to labor and was never a factor.

Within 30 minutes after the race, Scotman had been scoped by a veterinarian to determine whether he had experienced breathing problems. Although he was declared fit, the performance left a number of questions.

Trainer Pam McDougall and Wilson are expected to start Scotman in the July 28 Klondike, where he could face another tough field, including Code Name Fred.