05/21/2003 11:00PM

Time has come for 'Sunny'

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CALGARY, Alberta - Sunny Mulligan, from leading trainer Red Smith's stable, and Bet the Breeze, second in the Alberta Premier's Futurity last Sept. 21 at Northlands Park, are among a field of seven in a $15,100 maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-olds here Saturday afternoon.

Sunny Mulligan, a closing third on April 30 over a speed-biased surface rated as "good," runs on Lasix for the first time and breaks from post 5 under Richard Hamel.

Sunny Mulligan drilled a solid five furlongs in 1:02.20 last Saturday and appears set to earn his diploma.

Bet the Breeze has two strong five-furlong works for trainer Joan Petrowski since losing as the favorite in his 2003 debut here April 12.

Bet the Breeze breaks from post 4 under Quincy Welch, who was hot over the holiday weekend. Welch won the final two races May 16, three more on Saturday, another pair on Sunday, and closed out the Victoria Day weekend with a hat trick on Monday.

After missing the first month of the meeting on a suspension, Welch has returned to the form that won him riding titles here and at Northlands Park last year.

Meanwhile, Dave Wilson continues to top the rider standings.

Smith's lead, which looked insurmountable a week ago, has been reduced by Robertino Diodoro, who followed his stakes upset with Eternal Secrecy in Sunday's Teeworth Plate by winning three consecutive races on Monday, with Track Prince, Baie Comeau, and Sweet Creek.

Through Wednesday, Smith led Diodoro in meet wins, 20-14.