05/11/2003 11:00PM

Stampede: Favorites win both stakes


CALGARY, Alberta - A rare stakes doubleheader, necessitated by the cancellation of Saturday's card due to rain and snow, produced no surprises here Sunday as Raylene ($3.80) won the Mount Royal Handicap and Taiaslew ($3.60) took the President's Handicap.

Raylene, champion of her division in Alberta last year, opened her campaign with a 6 1/4-length victory over second-place finisher Whataweekend under patient handling by leading rider Dave Wilson. Raylene faced only four others in the $40,000 race for 3-year-old fillies.

Wilson placed Raylene in fourth in the run through the first turn and Raylene advanced steadily while three wide on the backstretch. A single right-handed tap with the whip at the head of the lane was the only encouragement needed to propel Raylene to the lead. She ran the six furlongs in 1:14.80.

"I've trained some good fillies over the years, but she has the potential to be the best," said Raylene's trainer, Rod Haynes.

In the six-furlong President's, Taiaslew broke well from post 6 in the field of seven 3-year-olds.

"When my horse broke sharp I decided to go on with him," said jockey Real Simard.

Taiaslew, making his 2003 debut, disposed of the front-running Devil's Flame nearing the quarter pole and was under a hand ride in the lane, completing the six furlongs in 1:14.20. Judge Ruckus was four lengths back in second.