09/21/2005 11:00PM

Showdown shaping up in Beaufort


EDMONTON, Alberta - The $50,000 Beaufort could be the most interesting race on Saturday's Alberta Fall Classic Day at Northlands Park, which features seven stakes for Alberta-breds worth a total of $400,000.

The Beaufort, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, attracted a field of 10 and in large part figures to be a showdown between Alberta Derby champion Knight's Covenant and Canadian Derby runner-up Ding Dong Dandy.

Also returning from the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby are Cinderchance and Forever Rascal.

Knight's Covenant, trained by Monica Russell for rookie owner Robert Vargo, wired the Alberta Derby field in the slop in June at Stampede Park but disappointed in his next outing on a muddy Northlands course when he failed to beat a horse in the Ky Alta.

After going down in a three-horse spill in the Aug 6. Count Lathum, Knight's Covenant won back much of his fan base when, in a forward effort, he briefly held the lead at the head of the stretch of the Canadian Derby and lost a photo finish for second money to Ding Dong Dandy.

Ding Dong Dandy, owned by Bar None Ranches, rallied from sixth place to finish a charging second behind Vancouver invader Alabama Rain.

Cinderchance came into the Canadian Derby with consecutive wins in a claimer and an allowance, then paid his way by finishing fifth.

Forever Rascal finished seventh in the Canadian Derby's field of 11 after earning his way in by winning the Count Lathum.