09/08/2002 11:00PM

Sixthirtyjoe finds route is too far

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EDMONTON, Alberta - The $100,000 Speed to Spare is the second-richest race of the year at Northlands Park, and with little else left on the stakes schedule for Sixthirtyjoe - an Alberta horse of the year candidate - it wasn't surprising that owner Dea Davies entered him in the Speed to Spare on Saturday.

Skeptics questioned whether Sixthirtyjoe, a 4-year-old who already had five stakes wins in 2002, could handle the 1 3/8-mile distance. In the end, he couldn't. Sixthirtyjoe faded at the top of the stretch and finished almost nine lengths behind the Speed to Spare winner, Bubblegum Kid.

Before the race, jockey Real Simard said he thought Sixthirtyjoe could handle the marathon distance, and for the first mile it appeared he was about to do so and nail down honors as the top Thoroughbred in Alberta in the process.

Battling on the outside at the quarter pole, Sixthirtyjoe appeared poised for a strong stretch drive, but as he hit the top of the lane he had nothing left. The Alberta-bred Sixthirtyjoe won $142,015 in the province this year.

Meanwhile, Bubblegum Kid stalked the early pace set by Miki Bleu Eyes, and made an impressive move in the turn when asked by jockey Rickey Walcott.

Bubblegum Kid, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt, hit the top of the lane in second place, but quickly overtook the leader and extended his lead down in the lane to win by three lengths.

It was the first stakes win for Bubblegum Kid, who paid $10.70.

Davies will now point Sixthirtyjoe to the Alberta Fall Classic here Sept. 21.

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