10/26/2004 11:00PM

Smith, Welch look title-bound


EDMONTON, Alberta - The 2004 Thoroughbred schedule comes to a conclusion Saturday at Northlands Park with a nine-race card comprising claiming races plus simulcast betting on the Breeders' Cup program from Lone Star Park.

In order to accommodate the Breeders' Cup events, which begin at 11:20 a.m. local time, officials at Northlands Park have moved the post time for live racing on Saturday to 11:05 a.m. The post times here will be staggered in conjunction with races in Texas.

With no stakes or allowance races on the card, much of the attention will be on the jockey and trainer standings as Red Smith looks to set an Alberta record by winning his fifth consecutive Alberta title as the top trainer.

Despite some health problems the past year, Smith has continued to pump out the winners. Heading into the final two days of racing action at Northlands, Smith has 38 wins in 209 starts and $626,806 in earnings at this meeting.

Following Smith in the standings are Dale Saunders, who holds the record of four consecutive provincial training titles and has posted 30 wins on the meet, and Joan Petrowski, who is third with 28 wins.

Quincy Welch enters the final weekend with the jockey title sewn up.

In 459 starts at the meeting, Welch has won 104 races, 16 more than his nearest rival, Rickey Walcott.