09/26/2004 11:00PM

Simard wins three on big card

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EDMONTON, Alberta - On a day when the top Alberta-bred Thoroughbreds were in the spotlight, it was an Alberta-born jockey, Real Simard, who stole the show.

Saturday's eighth annual Alberta Fall Classic featured seven stakes worth $400,000, and Simard got off to a quick start by winning the first stakes of the day, the $50,000 Beaufort for 3-year-olds.

Simard followed up with two more wins and one second-place finish before the day was out, making it the most successful Fall Classic of his career.

His first win came aboard Royalty Boy in one of the most hotly contested races of the afternoon.

Royalty Boy, the only Alberta-bred to compete in the Canadian Derby this summer, was the odds-on favorite for trainer Bruce Phelan. But Royalty Boy got caught on the rail, and to get free, Simard backed him off and took him to the outside.

Simard also won aboard Weekend Ceilidh for Phelan in the Alberta Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, and with Beau Brass in the $75,000 Breeders' Handicap.

In the 2-year-old divisions, longshot Forever Rascal captured the Premier's Futurity, while Speedy Gone Sally won the Sturgeon River for fillies.

Sixthirtyjoe got back in the winner's circle by capturing the $50,000 Red Diamond Express at 6 1/2 furlongs, and A Shaky Start turned in an easy victory in the $75,000 Fall Classic.