05/27/2006 12:00AM

Wally's Choice favored to dethrone Silver Axe


Wally's Choice faces off against defending champion Silver Axe in Monday's $50,000 Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Wally's Choice is the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Rasmussen, based on his impressive 2 1/2-length rallying victory in the $100,000 Bosselman at Fonner Park in his lone start of the year. That race was also at 1 1/16 miles, improving Wally's Choice to 7 for 9 at the distance.

Mike Biehler trains the 5-year-old Wally's Choice, who has a career record of 12-0-4 from 25 starts and $400,590 in earnings.

Wally's Choice does his best running from off the pace. Ken Shino has a return call aboard Wally's Choice, the 123-pound highweight under the allowance conditions of the Rasmussen.

Last year's Rasmussen was among five victories in 2005 for Silver Axe. A 9-year-old gelding, Silver Axe enjoyed his best season last year going 5-4-3 from 12 starts, good for $296,030 in earnings. Overall, Silver Axe has 13 career wins and $772,378 in earnings.

Silver Axe is winless in four starts this season but three of those came in graded stakes. In his best outing of the season, Silver Axe closed willingly to finish third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Rockport Harbor, in the Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn in February. Glenn Corbett has the mount on Silver Axe for trainer Dick Clark.