07/15/2009 12:00AM

Tough spot for Footprint's comeback


Jockey Real Simard, who is closing in on 2,000 wins, will have an excellent chance of notching win number 1,996 when he rides Footprint in the feature race at Northlands Park on Friday.

Simard has three mounts on the eight-race card, and the horse he is clearly looking forward to riding the most is Footprint, who is making his seasonal debut in the seventh race.

The 6 1/2-furlong classified allowance with a $40,000 claiming option drew six horses. The race shapes up as a battle between local champions Footprint and Inuit Fisher.

Simard and Footprint are well acquainted. Simard won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby with Footprint in 2007 and he has been aboard for all seven of Footprint's wins. Trained by Joan Petrowski, Footprint will be making his first start since he finished a neck behind Teagues Fight in the $50,000 Spangled Jimmy Handicap on July 5, 2008.

Footprint was the horse of the year in Alberta in 2007 and will have his hands full trying to beat the local 2008 sprint champ, Inuit Fisher. Trained by Dale Saunders, Inuit Fisher should also have a fitness edge over Footprint with three starts at the meet.