04/25/2006 11:00PM

First mile race of meet tops card

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CALGARY, Alberta - For those patrons clamoring for a little variety in their diet after watching half-milers for two weekends

followed by a steady parade of six-furlong sprints, then Friday's program here at Stampede Park adds a little spice to the racing menu.

The first one-mile race of the young season drew just six entrants but promises to be a competitive affair, with likely pacesetter Fargo Forbes drawing the rail with Rickey Walcott up. Fargo Forbes appears to be the lone speed but tends to get late in the lane and can expect challenges from route specialists Sirocos, Tiny Tim, and Perfect Pretense.

Should a mile race not be the fare of choice, then a 220-yard straightaway dash for Quarter Horses is charted for the nightcap on the nine-race program. In between there are some strong fields of upper-level claimers and allowance horses, something that was lacking during the first 15 days of this 47-day stand.

For the six-furlong diehards there is still plenty of action.

The fourth race drew seven 3-year-old fillies in an optional $32,000 claimer, including the stakes-placed Hilltop Neddy, Mia Cat Dancer, and Ain't No Options.

A full field of nine $22,000 claimers, headed by multiple stakes winner and 2004 Stampede Park Sprint Championship hero Dance Me Free, came up exceedingly tough and goes as race 6.

Friday's featured seventh race, an optional $40,000 claimer, drew a full field of nine fillies and mares.