07/12/2002 12:00AM

Trial pits 3 last-out winners

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Three of the six 3-year-olds entered in Sunday's $30,000 Derby Trial Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Assiniboia are coming off victories.

Ekati, the most impressive of the winners, won a seven-furlong maiden special weight race June 23 by

16 1/4 lengths in 1:25.80.

Trained by Jim Smith, Ekati probably will show speed, breaking from post 3 under Rohan Singh.

Winaferd, the winner of the restricted North Dakota Derby over one mile in his last start here July 7, is likely to challenge Ekati for the early lead.

Trained by Chad Torevell, Winaferd has won two of three starts this year and was a narrowly beaten second in his other start.

Jerry Pruitt will ride Winaferd, who breaks from post 5.

Beau Pip came from off the pace in his last start to win the restricted Manitoba Stakes at a mile and will be looking for the same type of trip here.

Trained by Raymond Liu, Beau Pip will begin from the rail with Juan Crawford up.

Portan finished fourth behind Beau Pip in the Manitoba in his latest start. Trained by Patti Ross, Portan will be ridden by Tim Gardiner and breaks from post 2.

Ness Gadoll, trained by Darla Singh last year, was the top local 2-year-old. After spending this spring in Clayton Gray's barn, Ness Gadoll moved into the shed row of trainer Romona Dorsch three days before his only start of the year, a third-place finish in the Golden Boy Stakes.

Now Ness Gadoll, who races on Lasix for the first time Sunday, will make his first start for trainer Emile Corbel. Jacques DesAutels will ride Ness Gadoll, who breaks from the outside.

The Derby Trial is the major local prep for the $100,000 Manitoba Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race here Aug. 5.