06/25/2002 11:00PM

Wild Rose begins holiday

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EDMONTON, Alberta - The Canada Day long weekend at Northlands Park traditionally features a number of stakes, and this year's action begins Friday with the $40,000 Wild Rose for older fillies and mares.

Going at a distance of 6 1/2 furlongs, the Wild Rose features an impressive field including Little Lolitta, who was named the top Alberta-bred and the province's champion 3-year-old filly in 2001.

A 4-year-old trained by Don Gilkyson, Little Lolitta has one win in two starts this season at Stampede Park. And according to Gilkyson, the filly is on target for another spectacular season if all goes as planned.

"She's had a couple of good works, and I expect to see a typically strong race from her, but in this business you really never know from one race to another," said Gilkyson.

Little Lolitta will be the 121-pound topweight and can expect a stiff challenge from her stablemate, Slewability.

Slewability has a stakes win over Little Lolitta to her credit this year and finished second to her in the $40,000 M.R. Jenkins Memorial on May 5. She will have Alex Ferris aboard, looking to wire the field.

Also worthy of consideration is Vancouver import Grooms Derby, a 5-year-old who will start from the rail with jockey Pedro Alvarado in the irons. Although Grooms Derby has yet to win in 2002, she has placed in two stakes at Hastings Park.

The holiday weekend action continues through Monday.

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