08/23/2007 11:00PM

Time is now for Mancini's Man


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The connections of Mancini's Man are hoping that skipping the Manitoba Derby was the right move as they look for his first stakes win in Sunday's $30,000 Harry Jeffrey Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles at Assiniboia Downs.

Trained by Ian McDonald, Mancini's Man ran at Assiniboia Downs for the first time in early June, finishing seventh in the six-furlong Golden Boy Stakes. Mancini's Man then stretched out to a mile to take a first-level allowance on June 24 before a fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Derby Trial on July 15.

McDonald skipped the Manitoba Derby in favor of a second-level allowance on Aug. 10, also at 1 1/16 miles, which Mancini's Man won by 11 lengths and posted a career best Beyer Speed Figure of 86.

Mancini's Man will face Country Humor, who won the Golden Boy in his second start of the season. He went into the Derby Trial off a six-week layoff and finished second after battling on the pace throughout. Trainer Sylvester Oliverre will put the blinkers back on Country Humor, who finished seventh without them in the Manitoba Derby.

Mark Anderson rode Country Humor in his first start of the year, and he takes the call on Sunday.

Trainer Emile Corbel sends out Western Deed and Druid's Lodge. Western Deed finished second in the Golden Boy in his local debut. Then, like Country Humor, Western Deed went in the Derby Trial off a six-week layoff, and he finished third. Western Deed then finished sixth in the Manitoba Derby.

Rohan Singh will ride Western Deed, as Travis Hightower, who rode both Corbel horses in their last start, has opted for Druid's Lodge.

Druid's Lodge has won both his starts here this the year, against maiden claimers and in a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles.

Trainer Martin Drexler sends out Big Chief and Barak, who both are one-time winners. Big Chief was 11th in the Manitoba Derby in his only local start. Alan Cuthbertson rides. Barak, who will race on Lasix for the first time, beat a weak maiden special field in his first start and then was fifth in a first-level allowance.

Flying Chevy, who won his maiden last time, rounds out the field.