05/08/2003 11:00PM

Vying Rose, Raylene one tough pair


CALGARY, Alberta - Raylene and Vying Rose, owned by Calmar Stables and Ranch, run coupled in the wagering and pose a formidable challenge to their four rivals in Sunday's 30th running of the $40,000 Mount Royal.

The duo last competed together in the Freedom of the City Oct. 12 at Northlands Park, with Vying Rose setting the early fractions and Raylene closing with a rush to win and clinch her divisional championship.

Raylene, with leading rider Dave Wilson up, drew post 3 for her seasonal debut in Sunday's six-furlong handicap for 3-year-old fillies.

A Kentucky-bred by Tabasco Cat, Raylene captured three stakes at Northlands with her explosive late kick and Wilson will undoubtedly hold her in reserve early in Sunday's race.

Vying Rose drew post 5 with Desmond Bryan up and will have to contend with We Danced Anyway just to her inside in search of the early lead.

Whataweekend, a five-length winner of the major prep for the Mount Royal here May 2, appears the main danger to post an upset. Whataweekend overcame trouble to win the six-furlong allowance in 1:12.40.

With two starts at the meet, Whataweekend has a conditioning edge over her rivals and was visually impressive in her prep score.

o Sunday's card also features the President's Handicap, originally scheduled for the Saturday program, which was canceled due to weather and track conditions.