09/06/2007 12:00AM

Sin Toro class of Saskatchewan Derby


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Alberta ship-in Sin Toro will undoubtedly be bet down to heavy favoritism when he faces six other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s Saskatchewan Derby. The $15,000 Saskatchewan Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, is the final race of the 2007 Marquis Downs race meet.

Sin Toro won a stakes at Northlands Park this year and is certainly the best horse to set foot on the Marquis oval since Code Name Fred, another Alberta shipper, won the Saskatchewan Derby in 1999. A stakes winner last year at 2, Sin Toro won the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada Handicap in Alberta, defeating Footprint. Footprint turned the tables on Sin Toro in the Ky Alta over a mile and then went on to an impressive win in the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby.

Meanwhile, Sin Toro tried Footprint again in the 1 1/16-mile Count Lathum but was no match when finishing fourth, beaten 10 lengths, and his connections decided to forgo the Canadian Derby in favor of a one-mile allowance race that same afternoon. Sin Toro, a Kentucky-bred son of Holy Bull, missed by just a head in that race. With limited opportunities at Northlands Park in this last month of the meet there, Sin Toro’s trainer, Stu Simon, decided to run here before a possible trip to British Columbia and the B.C. Derby.

Local star Mischeviousfighter will look to pull the upset over Sin Toro, his former stablemate.

Mischeviousfighter is a perfect 6 for 6 at Marquis Downs, including five stakes victories. Unbeaten here in three starts at 2, Mischeviousfighter shipped to Simon’s barn at Stampede Park this spring and ran three times, with no success against $25,000 claimers and $17,500 claimers. A return here to his home province saw Mischeviousfighter embark on another three-race win streak, all in stakes. Mischeviousfighter has dominated the locals in those races, and his average win margin was almost six lengths. Leading rider Tim Moccasin rides.

Spitfire Flyer and Icicle Nose ship from Assiniboia Downs, while a trio of local maidens, Exit Stage West, Britt of Seattle and Magicaltoon, round out the field.

* Leading trainer Russell Gardipy sends out On Manoeuvres in the supporting feature, the $6,000 Cree Way Gas Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. On Manoeuvres has won four straight, including the Graceful Klinchit Handicap last time out.

Mandi Tambi arrives from Alberta with two victories against $13,000 claimers this year and should be the main competition.