04/16/2008 11:00PM

Always Gold goes for his fifth straight


AUBURN, Wash. - Always Gold and Hunt for Glory, two of the sharpest runners at the recently concluded Portland Meadows meeting, will renew their rivalry at Emerald Downs in Saturday's 5 1/2-furlong feature. The featured ninth race, which is a split of the eighth event on the 10-race card, is for older horses eligible to be claimed for $17,500 and has drawn a field of eight.

Always Gold, a 4-year-old son of Stolen Gold from the barn of trainer Robbie Baze, will be shooting for his fifth straight win. In his last start in Portland on Feb. 11, Always Gold came from well off the pace to defeat a field of $12,500 claimers that included Hunt for Glory with six furlongs in 1:11.40. Javier Matias, who was up for that score, will again have the mount at 124 pounds.

Hunt for Glory, a 7-year-old trained by Jonathan Nance, was favored over Always Gold in their Feb. 11 matchup, but had to settle for third after pressing the early pace. Hunt for Glory came back to defeat $8,000 claimers at a mile on March 10 and ended his Portland campaign with 3 wins from 6 starts.

The Portland duo figure to be trying to run down Fort Madison, who looms as the one to catch after breaking from the rail post under Pedro Flores at 122 pounds. Fort Madison, a Dan Kenney-trained 5-year-old, is coming off a four-race campaign at Turf Paradise that netted one win. He beat $15,000 claimers in October with six furlongs in 1:10.80, but has not raced since Jan. 11.