06/29/2001 11:00PM

Veteran to go mile on little rest

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EDMONTON, Alberta - In a surprise move by trainer Ernie Keller, Timely Ruckus will be returning on just eight days' rest when he starts in an allowance race at Northlands Park Monday.

Timely Ruckus, a three-time Alberta Sprint champion, continues to show his class at age 8 and opened the summer meet with a dead-heat victory in the $33,000 Journal at 6 1/2 furlongs here June 23.

Run Joey Run was able to get up to dead-heat for the top prize after Timely Ruckus appeared to lose his action in the stretch drive, but the effort proved that Timely Ruckus still is a force to contend with.

Monday, Timely Ruckus will not only return on short notice but also takes on a competitive field at a mile, only the third time in the past two years he has run that distance. A mile will be a test for Timely Ruckus, who is better suited to six furlongs.

"I expect he'll come back with a good, honest race," said Keller. "He's extremely sound and healthy right now, so I felt the short layoff wouldn't be a factor with him."

Monday's race will serve as a tune-up for the $50,000 Sun Sprint here Aug. 6.

"I have him pointed towards the Sun Sprint, and expect he will run in the Red Diamond during the Alberta Fall Classic," said Keller, "but other than that, I'm not sure right now if he'll run in any other races. It would be nice to see him run once or twice more, but I don't want to push him."

Timely Ruckus, gets in with 115 pounds Monday, a five-pound break from his recent stakes win.