09/09/2004 11:00PM

Sharp claimers step up


EDMONTON, Alberta - Duracat and Laskeek Bay, both coming off a victory, meet in a field of seven for Sunday's second running of the $50,000 Sales Stake for 3-year-old colts and geldings at a mile.

Both horses are emerging from the claiming ranks and will compete with 3-year-olds who have been racing in allowances and optional claimers.

Duracat defeated $20,000 claimers in his most recent start, and trainer Rob Chabot has awarded the return mount to Richard Hamel.

Laskeek Bay dropped to the $15,000 level to win his last outing, and trainer Yves Trudel will again have Rickey Walcott as the rider.

Bruce Phelan will saddle Weekend Rules, with Perry Winters up. After a second-place finish in June, Weekend Rules was given a shot at stakes horses but was unplaced in the Western Canada Handicap. He then defeated allowance 3-year-olds and was third against a similar group in his last outing.

Curious Gamble, trained by Red Smith and to be ridden by Quincy Welch, was unplaced in the Alberta Derby, and his best effort since then was a fourth in an optional claimer.

Sacred Winds, Desmond Bryan aboard, has been there or thereabouts in his last six appearances, with a victory, two runner-ups, two thirds, and a fourth in optional claiming or allowance company.