08/02/2002 11:00PM

Sixthirtyjoe seeks 6th stakes win


EDMONTON, Alberta - Sixthirtyjoe spots his archrival, Timely Ruckus, six pounds as he seeks his sixth stakes victory of the year in Monday's $50,000 Northlands Sun Sprint Championship.

Owned, trained, and bred by Deanne Davies, Sixthirtyjoe will carry 124 pounds, two more than he packed in the 1 1/16-mile Klondike just nine days ago. Monday's race is at 6 1/2 furlongs, same distance as the Journal, which Sixthirtyjoe won earlier in the meet.

Sixthirtyjoe's emergence has put in jeopardy the four-year reign of Timely Ruckus as Alberta's sprint champion. Timely Ruckus won the Sun Sprint during each of those campaigns.

The prospect of an off track, with forecasts of rain for the weekend, should not be a concern for the two favorites.

Timely Ruckus, now 9 years old, has won six of 13 starts with three seonds in off going, and Sixthirtyjoe, 4 years old, has never been out of the top three in six outings on an off track.

Sixthirtyjoe, with his regular rider Real Simard, drew post 2, while Timely Ruckus will break from the 4-hole under usual partner Stephan Heiler.

Fussy's Kid is likely to be the first away from the gate. He won an allowance in the mud wire-to-wire in his most recent start. He was runner-up to Sixthirtyjoe in the Journal after showing the way into the stretch.

Viva Ruckus, a 5-year-old mare, has risen from the claiming ranks to win five races this year, including the Wild Rose, but finished ninth in the John Patrick Memorial on a sloppy course in her last start.