09/11/2002 11:00PM

Sprite can sew up seasonal honors


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Good Old Sprite is on the verge of local stardom and can solidify his claim to Saskatchewan horse of the year honors with a win in Saturday's $6,500 City of Bridges Stakes for Saskatchewan-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings.

The City of Bridges is run over 1 1/16 miles and headlines the final card of the Marquis Downs meet.

Good Old Sprite, owned by R J Stable, is looking for his sixth win of the year and his second stakes score.

A winner of the Shortgrass Heritage against this same bunch two starts ago, Good Old Sprite also has four allowance victories in 2002 and was second in the Saskatoon Handicap and fourth in the Saskatchewan Derby. He has earned $17,668.

Blessed with speed and the ability to stalk the pace, Good Old Sprite appears set to make fast work of his four foes under regular rider Burton Evans.

Britts Xpress has the best chance for an upset. He was a stakes winner as a juvenile and will be the speed that Good Old Sprite will have to catch.

Last time out, however, Britts Xpress faded in the final quarter to finish fourth going a sixteenth of a mile shorter. Leading jockey Serge Rocheleau rides.

The other three entrants seem overmatched, because each has just a maiden victory.

Judge G A has run second and third in his last two outings, for allowance nonwinners of two; Persistent Heart closed to be third to Good Old Sprite in his latest; and Makemeorbreakme just got his maiden win over a muddy surface.

* While Rocheleau has clinched the rider title, with a 19-win lead over runner-up Clint Magera heading into the last two cards, the training title should come down to closing day.

Tom Gardipy Jr., last year's leader, and Fern Zdunick have traded places in the top spot for the last few weeks. Heading into the last weekend of action, Garpidy had 27 wins, three more than Zdunick.