07/04/2008 12:00AM

Trio likely to hook up


EDMONTON, Alberta – The best betting race on a solid nine-race program here Sunday drew just six older geldings, but a case could be made for each in a 6 1/2-furlong race for $30,000 claimers.

There is speed signed on, with Powerful Summer, Smokem Ninetynine, and Guitars N Cadillacs ensuring a rapid pace for the stalking trio of C R Jag, Colombiano, and Bling.

Powerful Summer chased wicked fractions set by Cool Synsation last out going 6 1/2 furlongs and faded to fourth, prompting a drop from tougher company into Sunday’s race. The gray gelding draws inside the other speed and breaks from post 2 under Rickey Walcott, who is riding well in defense of the Northlands riding title he captured for the first time last summer.

Powerful Summer still will have to deal with the two speedsters to his outside. Smokem Ninetynine and Guitars N Cadillacs have met twice recently and in both cases hooked up through 45-and-change half-mile fractions, setting the table for closing rivals.

Smokem Ninetynine drew post 3 and Quincy Welch will be up, while Guitars N Cadillacs drew post 5 with regular rider Desmond Bryan aboard.

Colombiano provided immediate benefits for new connections when he defeated a similar group here June 21 after being haltered for $22,000 out his previous start at Stampede Park. A similar stalking trip puts him right there again with Stephan Heiler back aboard.