07/11/2007 11:00PM

Watch out for speedy invader


EDMONTON, Alberta - Saturday's $75,000 Ky Alta Handicap at Northlands Park looks to be a terrific matchup, featuring a solid field of eight 3-year-olds with little to choose between favorites Sin Toro and Chief's Magic.

Chief's Magic was claimed out of Bob Baffert's barn in March and paid immediate dividends for new owner Corey Wagner by taking back-to-back stakes at Stampede Park, leading from gate to wire in both. Chief's Magic won the President's Handicap at six furlongs by 3 1/2 lengths and then stretched out to a mile in the Hoofprint on My Heart, winning by a diminishing neck.

In his latest outing, against some severe competition on a muddy track in the 1 1/16-mile Alberta Derby, Chief's Magic's front-running tactics failed. Jockey Stephen Heiler had Chief's Magic on top by two lengths at the six-furlong mark but Chief's Magic finished seventh.

Chief's Magic, once again under Heiler, makes his Northlands debut in the one-mile Ky Alta and must overcome the outside post as well as high weight of 121 pounds.

Sin Toro, who made his seasonal bow with a third-place finish to Chief's Magic in the President's, looked tremendous in winning the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada here July 1, posting a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 81. Sin Toro was assigned of 119 pounds.

Sin Toro, who will be ridden by Jake Barton, is the narrow morning-line 9-5 favorite over Chief's Magic at 2-1.