06/01/2001 11:00PM

Sprint boils down to two


CALGARY, Alberta - Viva Ruckus and Grovenor figure to battle to the wire in Sunday's $15,100 seventh race for fillies and mares.

The six-furlong sprint drew six entrants sporting claiming prices of $20,000 but shapes up as a two-horse race.

Viva Ruckus finished three-quarters of a length in front of Grovenor last time out in open company to grab place money behind Old Victory.

The two mares were entered in the May 21 sprint after their race failed to fill and both gave good accounts against their male foes.

Grovenor set the pace while posting a rapid 45.80-second half-mile and held on well after being challenged turning for home by Old Victory, who was winning his third race of the meet.

An Alberta-bred, Grovenor will be on or near the lead Sunday under Chris McGregor, who replaces Quincy Welch in the irons.

Viva Ruckus, who breaks from post 3 just outside her main rival, should be in a good stalking position under Richard Hamel.

Regal Illusion, excused by the stewards from a race here Friday evening, is the only other entrant to have raced this season. Her May 19 opener produced a closing third-place effort in a $15,000 claimer.

Ricky Walcott picks up the mount on Regal Illusion, who drew the outside post.

* Trainer R.K. "Red" Smith continued to lead the trainer standings after a month-long hot streak which left him with 22 victories after his 2-year-old Swing in Satin won a maiden special Wednesday.