04/10/2005 11:00PM

'Tommy G' and Welch tough team


CALGARY, Alberta - Trainer Dale Saunders knows what to do with a good horse, and he may have one on his hands in Captain Tommy G, a Kentucky-bred son of Captain Bodgit who will make his seasonal debut Wednesday.

Captain Tommy G has done little wrong, having turned in three strong efforts last fall at Northlands Park, and has trained forwardly this spring. Saunders eschewed the four-furlong races on the first two weekends of the meet and will start Captain Tommy G in a six-furlong optional claimer that drew a modest field of six 3-year-olds.

His latest work, a five-furlong move in 1:00.80 on April 8, signals readiness, and Saunders has enlisted leading jockey Quincy Welch to ride Captain Tommy G.

Welch rode Captain Tommy G in his three previous starts. Captain Tommy G, forwardly placed each time, recorded two place efforts and a maiden score at Wednesday's distance.

The mount could take on added significance for Welch. Welch, who began his Alberta career as an apprentice at this meet in 1997, had 999 victories heading into Wednesday.

Welch had nagging injuries the past two campaigns, and still was leading rider here both seasons. He rested up over the winter rather than ride in his native Barbados.

The prescription for rest and relaxation has obviously agreed with the 25-year-old Welch, who has matured into a most capable rider with his best years ahead of him.