Ry­croft poised for big day in Al­berta-bred show­case

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Daily Racing Form - By Randy Gould­ing

Fall Clas­sic Day will be held for the first time Sun­day at Cen­tury Downs, where seven $50,000 stakes for horses foaled in Al­berta will make up the bulk of a 10-race card that be­gins at 1:15 p.m. Moun­tain.

Adding to one of Al­berta’s big­gest days of rac­ing is a pick four that in­cludes the Grade 1 Natalma and Grade 1 Sum­mer stakes at Woodbine. The first leg at Woodbine is the $250,000 Natalma (race 7), in which con­tention runs deep in the one-mile turf race for 2-yearold fil­lies. The Chad Brown­trained Fog of War likely will be fa­vored in the Sum­mer for 2-year-olds. The one-mile turf race worth $250,000 goes as race 9.

The two races at Cen­tury Downs are the Stur­geon for 2-year-old fil­lies in race 8 and the Al­berta Oaks for 3-year-old fil­lies in race 9.

Horses trained by Tim Ry­croft will play prom­i­nent roles in both races at Cen­tury Downs, and the lead­ing trainer fig­ures to have a big day with likely fa­vorites in four of the seven stakes.

Only One Kiss is the one to beat in the 6 1/2-fur­long Stur­geon, which drew nine horses. She eas­ily won her de­but and then fin­ished third to her sta­ble­mate Smarty River Pants in the $57,000 Princess Mar­garet Stakes on July 28. A son of Afleet Alex, Smarty River Pants will be 1-10 or there­abouts when he runs in the Al­berta Premier’s Fu­tu­rity for 2-year-olds in the first race.

Ry­croft thinks Fool­ish Blue Moon, who came from a stalk­ing po­si­tion to beat the Greg Tracy-trained Can’t Touch This in a maiden spe­cial weight race at Cen­tury Downs on Sept. 2, could give her sta­ble­mate all she can han­dle.

“I liked the way Fool­ish Blue Moon went af­ter and caught Greg’s horse,” Ry­croft said.

Can’t Touch This is in the field and should im­prove in just her third start.

Only One Kiss will be mak­ing her first start since the Princess Mar­garet, but over the past cou­ple of years, Ry­croft has won with 43 per­cent of his horses who were com­ing back in 31 to 60 days.

I Miss Back When will ap­pre­ci­ate not hav­ing to face Raider when she runs in the 1 1/16mile Al­berta Oaks. Raider won all the stakes for 3-year-old fil­lies at North­lands Park this year, and in her last two starts, I Miss Back When fin­ished sec­ond in the $50,000 North­lands Park Oaks on July 13 and third in the $60,000 Sonoma on Aug. 4.

The main threat is the Red Smith-trained Madam Bul­let, who im­proved dra­mat­i­cally when she ran on Lasix for the first time and beat older fil­lies and mares in a first-level al­lowance race at North­lands on Aug. 17.

Here is a look at the other stakes.

◗ Race 1: Smarty River Pants is as close to a cinch as you are go­ing to find in the Fu­tu­rity. He has not been tested in any of his three wins, and his low­est Beyer Speed Fig­ure, a 62, is 20 points higher than the ca­reer best of his five op­po­nents.

◗ Race 2: Shimshine and Regal Max are the main play­ers in the Beau­fort Stakes for 3-year-olds go­ing 1 1/16 miles. Shimshine, trained by Elige Bourne, made a strong move but flat­tened out to fin­ish third in the Grade 3, $200,000 Cana­dian Derby on Aug. 25.

Regal Max beat Shimshine in the $58,000 Al­berta Derby at Grande Prairie prior to fin­ish­ing eighth af­ter press­ing the pace in the 1 3/8-mile Cana­dian Derby. He is trained by Rick Hedge, who go­ing into the week­end had won with half of his eight starts at the meet.

◗ Race 3: Zip­pity Zap looks like a stand­out in the Al­berta Breed­ers’ Hand­i­cap for 3-year-olds and up that drew five horses. Trained by Craig Smith, he is com­ing off a run­ner-up fin­ish in a $25,000 op­tional-claim­ing race with non­win­ners-of-three al­lowance con­di­tions on Aug. 10, and he is fac­ing mostly mid-level claimers. He was the run­ner-up to For Cash in the Breed­ers’ last year. For Cash is a mul­ti­ple stakes win­ner with $582,959 in earn­ings.

◗ Race 4: Mister Jan­gles is go­ing for the hat trick in the Red Diamond Ex­press, which drew six older horses go­ing 6 1/2 fur­longs. The Ry­croft­trained 5-year-old son of Ice Box won the race last year and is com­ing off a win go­ing the same dis­tance over open com­pany in the $56,000 Timely Ruckus at North­lands on Aug. 25.

◗ Race 6: The Fall Clas­sic Distaff Hand­i­cap should go to Par­cam Cow­girl, but the Dale Saun­ders-trained 4-year-old is com­ing off a last-place fin­ish in the $75,000 Ed­mon­ton Distaff Hand­i­cap at North­lands on Aug. 25, and she didn’t fire in her only start at Cen­tury Downs in the $49,000 CTHS Sales Stakes last year. If she runs her usual race, she will be tough to beat though.

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