05/29/2005 11:00PM

Welch has seven-win weekend


CALGARY, Alberta - Jockey Quincy Welch spent most of last weekend in the winner's circle.

Welch won five races at Stamped Park on Saturday, including the $50,000 Hoofprint on My Heart aboard Dakota Duke, and two more on Sunday, capped by a victory in the $50,000 Lilac with Kathern's Cat.

In the one-mile Hoofprint, the major stakes prep for the June 18 Alberta Derby, Welch placed Dakota Duke in a perfect striking position in the short field of five, just off the pacesetter Itsaninetyniner through moderate fractions of 23.40 seconds and 47.00. Dakota Duke cruised to the front nearing the quarter pole under a tight hold and widened his lead with every jump to post a five-length victory over Forever Rascal, who closed from last but was never a threat to the winner.

It was another five lengths back to the favorite, Blackjack Willy, who drifted on the turns and ran greenly throughout the race.

Welch put his whip away at the top of the stretch and had Dakota Duke eased up at the wire in completing the mile in 1:37.40.

Welch, who set a meet record with 65 winners last year, passed that mark with his fifth on Saturday, aboard Xari.

The Lilac, a handicap for 3-year-old fillies, was a virtual replay of the Hoofprint for Welch.

Kathern's Cat raced in the second spot just off the early leader Speedy Gone Sally, engaged the pacesetter at the quarter pole, and drew off in the lane to post a 4 1/4-length tally.