06/02/2005 11:00PM

Trio can give Smith a boost


CALGARY, Alberta - By most standards, trainer Red Smith has enjoyed a successful meet. But for Smith, the defending champion and a perennial contender for leading trainer, this spring ranks as a disappointment.

Smith has moved into the top 10 in the standings after an unusually slow start, and the big outfits of Greg Tracy and Ron Grieves were winning races from Day 1 of the spring session. Should Smith mount a late charge in defense of his title, it could start on Sunday when he has three live runners entered.

The 3-year-old Frank'satschanks drops in for a price for the first time and heads a field of six in a $25,000 claimer which kicks off the program. Frank'satschanks exits a rapid six-furlong allowance won by Lonesome Leo in 1:09.40.

Fancy Bru, a half-brother to Alberta's 2001 horse of the year, Fancy As, stretches out to a mile in the featured seventh race, for $30,000 claimers. He will appreciate the added yardage after closing strongly in sprints in his last two.

Smith, who is not as active in the claiming business as he once was, reached in to claim Derby Drifter for $17,500 on April 17 and runs him for a $12,000 tag in the eighth race. His two starts for Smith produced even efforts sprinting, and the stretch out to a mile may be what the doctor ordered for Derby Drifter.

The Smith barn lost two stalwarts to retirement this spring as Tyko Tycoon aggravated a tendon problem and Fancy As came up with suspensory problems.