08/28/2006 12:00AM

Shillelagh Slew by 6 1/2 in derby


EDMONTON, Alberta - Shillelagh Slew, ridden by Dino Luciani, drew off from nine rivals in the stretch run to record a 6 1/2-length victory in the Canadian Derby here Saturday. The Canadian Derby, a Grade 3, $300,000 race for 3-year-olds, is the showpiece of the Northlands Park meeting.

The Visualizer dueled with both Tejano Trouble and Edenwold throughout the first mile, and hung on well to be second, a head in front of Mighty Cahill, who closed well along the inside in the lane. Edenwold, the 2-1 favorite off his Queen's Plate triumph and troubled journey in the Prince of Wales, was another three-quarters of a length back in fourth after a wide trip.

Shillelagh Slew ($8.60) finished the 1 3/8 miles in 2:19 after chasing very slow early fractions of 25 seconds, 49.20, 1:14.40, and 1:40.

"He settled into stride early and ran the way we wanted him to all along," said Luciani, who rode the Quebec-bred Shillelagh Slew for owner David James and trainer Mike DePaulo.

"He relaxed for me and everything opened up for us when the running began. It was a dream trip."

Luciani and Shillelagh Slew hugged the rail in the early stages and made their move at the five-sixteenths pole, going around a tiring Tejano Trouble and finding a narrow opening along the rail inside of The Visualizer. Once he found clear sailing, Shillelagh Slew drew off with authority.

Bear Character was the best of the local entrants and finished fifth. Halo Steven, the Alberta Derby winner and third favorite in the wagering, was pulled up by rider Pedro Alvarado after a mile and did not finish. He returned to the paddock on his own.

* Monashee, a 4-year-old filly owned by Ole Nielsen and trained by Tracy McCarthy, posted her fourth consecutive stakes victory in the $75,000 City of Edmonton Distaff here Sunday. Monashee ($2.70) completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45 with Ice Girl holding on well to be second and Banjo Babe closing for third.