07/16/2002 12:00AM

Talk of the town: Lord Shogun


EDMONTON, Alberta - The only Thursday card of the meeting is this week, as the Klondike Days festival begins.

But much of the talk at Northlands Park is about Lord Shogun's impressive performance in last Saturday's $40,000 Ky Alta.

Lord Shogun, shipped from Hastings Park in Vancouver along with regular jockey Dave Wilson to win the Ky Alta, a prep for the $150,000 Canadian Derby.

Lord Shogun also won the $100,000 Alberta Derby at Stampede Park on June 15 and has firmly established himself as the leading contender for the Grade 3 Canadian Derby, the 1 3/8-mile race which is the highlight of this meeting on Aug. 24.

Breaking from the outside in Saturday's 10-horse field, Lord Shogun assumed early control and set a brisk pace. On the backstretch, Dark Fuse challenged, and even pulled to within a head at one point. But Wilson urged Lord Shogun through the final half-mile and he pulled away to win by almost three lengths as the 4-5 favorite.

Dark Fuse finished second, followed by longshot Go Go Tommy Joe. For Dark Fuse, who faltered in the stretch, the effort may have ended his Canadian Derby run, because trainer Ron Burrell is opposed to running horses at the grueling distance of 1 3/8 miles under scale weight of 126 pounds.

Burrell had wanted to see how Dark Fuse would handle the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Ky Alta before making any decisions on his immediate future.

The final local stakes prep for the Canadian Derby, the $40,000 Count Lathum at 1 5/16 miles, goes here Aug. 3.

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