06/12/2008 11:00PM

'Secret' looks hard to catch


Lookinforthesecret, just a neck away from being a perfect 7 for 7 in 2008, tops a field of seven older horses in the $50,000 Free Press and should be extremely tough to catch in Sunday's six-furlong affair at Assiniboia Downs.

Equally adept over the dirt and the grass, Lookinforthesecret already has five stakes wins and has earned more than $300,000 this year.

Lookinforthesecret has wired fields at Tampa Bay Downs, Calder, and, most recently, Canterbury Park.

The highlight of his season thus far was a wire-to-wire score in Calder's $214,000 Turf Sprint Handicap two starts ago over five furlongs, which earned him a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

A six-furlong romp in January on the Tampa Bay dirt also earned Lookinforthesecret the same Beyer, and an effort anywhere near those numbers should put him in the winner's enclosure in Winnipeg.

Facing Lookinforthesecret are the first-, second-, fourth-, fifth-, and eighth-place finishers from the local allowance prep and another invader, Ronaldino, from Stampede Park.

Gold Lad closed well down the lane to get up late for the victory over Esprit Du Roi in the May 25 prep.

Gold Lad closed some seven lengths from eighth place for the win and caught Esprit Du Roi, who stalked from fourth and had actually assumed command in midstretch.

Both Gold Lad and Esprit Du Roi arrived at Assiniboia after having competed this year in Iowa and Kentucky, respectively.

Charley Tango, Illusive Force, and Arthurlooksgood were the others to compete in the prep, and none of them was ever dangerous.

Charley Tango passed tired foes to be fourth; Illusive Force was steadied at the break and ran an even fifth; and Arthurlooksgood faded badly to finish eighth after he stumbled at the break.

Ronaldino arrives from Alberta with 2 wins and 1 fourth from 3 starts this year, including a wire-to-wire victory in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship on April 26 at this distance.

Ronaldino last saw action May 17 when he pressed the pace in the one-mile Teeworth Plate but faded to be five lengths behind Footprint, the 2007 Alberta horse of the year who won in a track-record performance.

Ronaldino appears to be the only horse who may be willing to fire from the gate and put pressure on Lookinforthesecret.