06/22/2006 12:00AM

Smudgeledo in top form for Journal


EDMONTON, Alberta - Smudgeledo, a Washington-bred owned by Lloyd DeBruycker, will seek his fourth victory in five starts this year in Saturday's Journal Handicap here at Northlands Park. The $50,000 Journal, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, attracted a field of six and launches the 2006 Northlands stakes schedule.

Two of Smudgeledo's wins this year came in stakes, the Stampede Sprint Championship and the Teeworth Plate at Stampede. His only loss this spring came there in the Herald Gold Plate, where Smudgeledo faltered after showing the way to the last turn. Smudgeledo wound up eighth in that 1 1/16-mile race but cuts back to a favored distance here.

Greg Tracy, fresh from capturing the Stampede Park trainer title for the second straight year, will call upon Real Simard, who rode Smudgeledo to his Teeworth win. Smudgeledo will leave from post 3.

The Journal will have five betting interests, with trainer Robert Kingston sending out an entry of Fly Esteem, winner of the 2004 Alberta Derby, and Hot Talk. Fly Esteem has the riding services of Desmond Bryan, his Alberta Derby pilot. A winner of four races, Fly Esteem drew the rail, which should stand him in good stead.

Trainer Floyd Arthur moves Sparhawk up from the optional claiming/fourth-level allowance ranks, where the 4-year-old won his first two outings of the campaign sprinting six furlongs.