07/24/2007 12:00AM

Tartan Star gets more room to run


EDMONTON, Alberta - Tartan Star stretches out to a mile in Thursday's allowance feature after just missing going 6 1/2 furlongs on July 14. She heads a field of six fillies and mares here at Northlands Park.

A 4-year-old by Exclusive Era, Tartan Star has been the star of trainer Sid Gray's stable the past two seasons and saves her best efforts for Northlands Park, including stakes tallies in each of the past two campaigns.

Her latest effort signals a return to top form, as Tartan Star fell a nose shy of catching Sassy Sarah with a determined stretch rally under Perry Winters.

Tartan Star was going best of all in the closing yards that day, and the additional yardage Thursday will be to her advantage.

The filly won a one-mile allowance race at Stampede Park in May, coming from just off the pace.

Tartan Star drew post 2, while the probable pacesetter, Weekend Ceilidh, drew the rail. She owns a pair of one-mile scores this campaign versus $22,000 claimers.

Regular rider Real Simard retains the call aboard Weekend Ceilidh, who returns to her favorite distance (she is 5 for 10 at a mile) and catches a field lacking early foot.

Awesome Deal upset favored Banjo Babe at this level and distance last out, and Banjo Babe returned to win the John Patrick Handicap on July 15.

Awesome Deal, who runs her best races from mid-pack, drew post 3 and will have Bryan back aboard.

Hastings invader Katelliena closed well sprinting in her last start in Vancouver and will break from post 4 with Stephan Heiler up.