04/01/2005 12:00AM

A treat for superfecta players


CALGARY, Alberta - The feature race is generally scheduled later in the program, but Stampede Park has placed Sunday's best race, a $21,300 optional claimer for older horses, in the fifth-race superfecta slot.

Superfecta fans, generally faced with low-level claimers or maidens, should relish handicapping the full field of 10 horses, as contention runs deep. The Sunday card consists of nine half-mile dashes.

Boldanzar is as game as they come. He breaks from post 6 on Sunday, a good draw in half-mile races out of the chute at this track. Boldanzar, 2 for 3 at the distance, figures to be hooked by the speedsters Smooth Cruiser and Hot Talk, who are drawn to his immediate outside.

Smooth Cruiser led until the final jumps in the roughly run Stampede Park Sprint Championship last May, missing by a head before being disqualified for lugging out. He is rarely beaten out of the gate.

Hot Talk, 4, will give Smooth Cruiser a race to the front, as he was arguably the quickest of his class last season.

- Timely Ruckus, winner of four sprinting titles in Alberta, was euthanized in December at age 11 after contracting a virus, his trainer, Ernie Keller, said. Stampede Park fans remember the string of success Timely Ruckus had in the the Sprint Championship, with victories in 1997, 1998, and 2000, interrupted by a narrow loss to TJ Quigley in 1999.