10/09/2001 11:00PM

Timely Ruckus runs second in 2001 finale

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Four-time local sprint champion Timely Ruckus finished second in an allowance race in his final start of the year Monday at Northlands Park. Trained by Ernie Keller, the 8-year-old Timely Ruckus - who prefers six-furlong races - was trying to win at a mile in his first start since a loss in the Alberta Fall Classic Sept. 23.

Timely Ruckus, who went off as the 2-1 favorite, stalked pacesetter Tyko Tycoon through six furlongs, and then jockey Stephan Heiler asked him to move at the top of the lane.

But Timely Ruckus failed to hold off on-rushing longshot Klondike Trail, who made a bold move down the stretch and won by a length. Timely Ruckus's second-place finish raised his 2001 earnings to $94,140 and his career earnings to $534,107. Timely Ruckus will race again next year at age 9.

On Friday night, the first card of the Thanksgiving weekend, Viva Ruckus capped off a sensational year for owners Irene Gray and Kathy and Eric Prosser by winning her fifth race in 12 starts this year. Viva Ruckus wired a tough field at six furlongs in the $20,000 allowance race.

Ridden by Richard Hamel, Viva Ruckus burst out of the gate on top and won by four lengths. The victory raised her 2001 winnings to more than $73,000, triple what she earned last year. The owners of Viva Ruckus gained prominence earlier this year with their 2-year-old sensation, Dance Me Free.

Going into the final weekend of the Northlands meet, Heiler leads the jockey standings with 65 wins, and appears headed for his first riding title. Quincy Welch and Perry Winters are within striking distance with 60 wins apiece.

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