07/26/2007 11:00PM

Three old foes meet two years later


EDMONTON, Alberta - Three old rivals from the 2005 Canadian Derby look to renew acquaintances in Sunday's feature here at Northlands, a one-mile classified allowance with a $40,000 optional claiming tag.

Two years ago, trainer Lance Giesbrecht shipped Alabama Rain from his racing headquarters at Hastings to capture the $300,000 Canadian Derby for owner Peter Redekop. Alabama Rain won impressively by 4 3/4 lengths. The Canadian Derby victory was the third of three consecutive stakes triumphs for Alabama Rain, but it also marked the last time he won a stakes.

Now racing in the colors of new owners and in the care of trainer Carla Rycroft, Alabama Rain has been returned to the site of his greatest achievement with hopes that he might recapture some of the magic that has eluded him through a dismal spring at Hastings.

Forever Rascal ran seventh in the 2005 Canadian Derby following a surprise victory in the Count Lathum. Forever Rascal, like Alabama Rain, has not won another stakes race since his 3-year-old campaign.

Cinderchance finished fifth in the Canadian Derby but could well be the favorite in Sunday's race. After a late start to his 2007 season, Cinderchance looked good recently when he finished second in an optional claimer in his second outing of the year. Cinderchance should improve off that effort and looks ready to turn the tables on his old foes.