05/20/2005 12:00AM

Two lower their sights to allowance


CALGARY, Alberta - Gusso and Captain Tommy G were both nominated to the May 28 Hoofprint on My Heart, but their connections opted for the cozier confines of a two-other-than optional claimer on Sunday at Stampede Park, which drew just five 3-year-olds. The six-furlong race runs as the fourth of eight here.

A win by either Gusso or Captain Tommy G would propel him along the trail to the June 18 Alberta Derby.

Trainer Dale Saunders, who has a Hoofprint hopeful in Pipe in Spector, sends Captain Tommy G after this $19,900 purse rather than testing the good colts going a mile in the $50,000 Hoofprint on My Heart six days hence.

Captain Tommy G disappointed as the favorite on May 7 in a sprint won by Forever Rascal, a top juvenile from last year making his seasonal debut. Captain Tommy G fits this condition perfectly, as does Gusso, a promising but headstrong gelding from Don Gilkyson's shed row who was disqualified from a win here on April 27 after drifting out into the first turn.

Gusso atoned by leading every step of the way in an allowance sprint on May 11, although the trip had its moments. Rider Perry Winters had all he could handle to keep Gusso on the straight and narrow path.

Gusso, to be ridden by Winters, drew the outside post Sunday and is the one to catch, while Captain Tommy G breaks from post 2 under Quincy Welch.

Tricky Thinker makes his first start of the year off a string of quick works.