09/02/2005 11:00PM

Tough task for Alexandersrun


AUBURN, Wash. - Alexandersrun may be a slight favorite in a fiercely competitive renewal of the $100,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby on Monday. The 1 1/8-mile race has drawn a full field of 12.

Alexandersrun, a Florida-bred son of Sweetsouthernsaint who races for Thomas Bell, comes off a stirring neck victory over Confidential Call in the Aug. 7 Seattle Slew Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. It was his first start for Bell, who purchased Alexandersrun privately after the gelding had strung together five straight top-three finishes against tough company at Gulfstream and Monmouth Park. Alexandersrun has registered a pair of bullet workouts over the Emerald Downs oval since the Seattle Slew score.

"He has been training great, and I would expect him to take a step forward off his last race," said trainer Tim McCanna. "I think he is the one to beat."

McCanna will also saddle Gins Majesty, who will attempt to become the first filly to win the local derby since Smogy Dew accomplished the feat in 1964. Gins Majesty, a long-winded daughter of Go for Gin, won the 1 1/16-mile Kent Handicap before finishing second to A Classic Life in the 1 1/8-mile Washington Oaks on Aug. 20.

Other stakes winners in the field are Norm's Nephew, who won the 6 1/2-furlong Pepsi Cola Handicap here in May, and Indian Weaver, who won last year's Strong Ruler Stakes over a muddy track.

Indian Weaver, a Washington-bred son of Basket Weave, has raced exclusively in California this season, posting one win and a pair of seconds from eight starts. His victory, which came in a mile allowance test at Bay Meadows, was earned over a sloppy track.

"There is no question he likes the mud," said trainer Frank Lucarelli. "Rain would really move him up."

Lucarelli will also saddle Fuzzyheadedlizard, who upset several of the derby hopefuls when he won a one-mile allowance prep at odds of 42-1 on Aug. 20.

Derby entrants who finished behind Fuzzyheadedlizard in the derby prep were runner-up Wasserman, fourth-place finisher Datzig, and Confidential Call, who finished fifth as the favorite. Confidential Call was gaining with every stride when second to Alexandersrun in the Seattle Slew and might have been favored for the derby if he had not run again. But he took a step backward with his flat performance in the prep.

"I think he was just too close to the pace that day," said Kay Cooper, assistant to trainer Jim Penney.