06/13/2006 11:00PM

Top rider, trainer can add to leads


CALGARY, Alberta - When True Metropolitan cruised home a handy winner of the Herald Gold Plate last Sunday, the beneficiary of a rapid early pace and a patient ride, it marked the 71st victory of the Stampede Park meeting for rider Quincy Welch.

Welch is the runaway leader in the rider standings, but the meet record of 83 wins that he

established last spring may be just out of reach as the meet heads into the final weekend.

Leading trainer Greg Tracy won his 23rd race of the meet on Sunday with Sassy Sarah and appears to be safe in defense of his 2005 title.

Welch and Tracy both have chances to increase their margins in Friday's featured seventh race, an optional $40,000 claimer at six furlongs that drew a field of five fillies and mares.

Welch is aboard Hastings invader Filly's Gone Wild, a 4-year-old who drew the rail and is the one to catch.

Filly's Gone Wild is the quickest of this group, consistently on or near the lead in her sprint races, and shipped here for opening weekend to capture a "half-miler" under Pedro Alvarado.

Filly's Gone Wild has faded in two subsequent attempts going 6 1/2 furlongs at Hastings, and Friday's cutback in distance is to her advantage.

Tracy saddles the 5-year-old Smoking Bear, undefeated in three sprint outings at this meet, as she moves up another notch after handling $30,000 claimers with ease in her latest victory.