08/05/2006 12:00AM

Trio of $40K stakes all eight-strong


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Three $40,000 stakes - the Jack Hardy for 3-year-old fillies, the Winnipeg Futurity for 2-year-olds, and the Wheat City for 3-year-olds and upward - highlight the Manitoba Derby undercard here at Assiniboia Downs on Monday.

Like the Manitoba Derby, all three supporting stakes have drawn fields of eight.

In the one-mile Jack Hardy, Hey Hey Renee is going for her third win in as many start here this year.

Hey Hey Renee, trained by Ardell Sayler, scored one of her two career stakes wins in the Winnipeg Futurity on Manitoba Derby Day last year and will race with Lasix for the first time Monday.

The undefeated Glory Bea Trix could provide the toughest opposition to Hey Hey Renee. Trained by Michael Stidham, she was victorious over maiden special and first-level allowance company in two starts at Canterbury Park.

Lyric Lake, Tactical Candy, and Diamondsintheway, the second- through fourth-place finishers behind Hey Hey Renee in the allowance prep for the Jack Hardy, all return for the main event.

Victorita is riding a two-race win streak into the Jack Hardy.

Trainer Martin Drexler sends out Stellar Babe, a winner over maiden special company in her only local start, and the maiden Pulpit's Treasure, who will be making her first start locally.

The six-furlong Winnipeg Futurity appears to be a wide-open race.

First Cavalry, Ecton's Gem, Sir Officer, and Thunder Buns will all race with Lasix for the first time.

Sir Officer, Thunder Buns, and Nechako were all winners locally in their last starts. I Spy Wolfie, the only other winner in the field, defeated Texas-bred maiden special weight company at Lone Star Park in his only start. First Cavalry ships in from Woodbine after facing maiden special weight company in three starts.

Also entered are Sure Why Not, Ecton's Gem, and first-time starter Country Humor.

Millionaire and 11-time stakes winner Full Moon Madness and the graded stakes-placed Elite Mercedes should provide a formidable challenge to the local contingent in the one-mile Wheat City. Full Moon Madness finished fifth in the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit at Canterbury Park in his last start.

Elite Mercedes brings a three-race win streak into the Wheat City. Claimed by owner Larry Carter for $15,000 at Churchill Downs two starts ago, Elite Mercedes won his next start there over $30,000 claimers.

Trainer Carl Anderson will send out three in the Wheat City, headed by four-time stakes winner Albarino, as well as Simply Regal and Resurgent.

Plenty of Heat, a two-time winner over allowance company here this year, defeated Too the Target last time out, whom he faces again here.

Northern Affair, who won this race in 2004 and finished second last year, rounds out the field.