10/03/2002 11:00PM

Taiaslew, Raylene eye titles


EDMONTON, Alberta - Local racing opportunities have been rare for Taiaslew and Raylene, but they have been making the most of their chances. These 2-year-olds, who are excluded from the Alberta-bred stakes, appear to be cinches to claim divisional honors as they head into their stakes engagements this weekend at Northlands.

Taiaslew, a colt, runs in the Canadian Juvenile, and Raylene, a filly, runs in the Freedom of the City.

Taiaslew, a Washington-bred trained by Greg Tracy, is 3 for 3, having won the Edmonton Juvenile and Birdcatcher after launching his career with a victory in a maiden special weight race. But when Taiaslew runs in the $75,000 Canadian Juvenile on the Oct. 14 holiday Monday card, his front-running ability will be put to a serious test.

The Canadian Juvenile goes at 1 1/16 miles. The farthest Taiaslew or his opponents have traveled is 6 1/2 furlongs.

Taiaslew's main competition is expected to come from Alberta-bred Jiffyjimmygee, who won his Sale Stake and the Alberta Premier's Futurity.

Raylene, back in Alberta after finishing fifth in Woodbine's 1 1/16-mile Selene Stakes, has done her best running in the last three-eighths of a mile here in sweeping the Princess Margaret and Bird of Pay following a maiden special weight victory.

Raylene, a Kentucky-bred, started her career with two defeats, including a distant second-place finish to Taiaslew. She is trained for Calmar Stables and Ranch by Rod Haynes, who won the 2001 Canadian Juvenile with Crescent Remark.