06/02/2003 11:00PM

Give speed the edge in rematch


AUBURN, Wash. - Melcapwalker and Bucko Wins, who staged a seesaw stretch duel here on Memorial Day, will be rematched in Thursday's one-mile feature at Emerald Downs for older $16,000 claimers.

Melcapwalker and Bucko Wins were racing a mile at the $12,500 level when they last met. Bucko Wins came from sixth to head the front-running Melcapwalker at the furlong marker and lengthened his lead to three-quarters of a length with a sixteenth to run, but Melcapwalker dug back in under rider Scott Saito and earned a neck decision in 1:36.40.

There are several reasons to prefer Melcapwalker in Thursday's rematch, not the least of which is the superior desire that he showed Memorial Day. Melcapwalker, a 4-year-old son of Skywalker who races for Art McFadden, also faces minimal pace opposition on Thursday and figures to be coming up to a peak effort in the third start of his campaign.

Scott Saito again has the call from trainer Bud Klokstad, and the weight will remain at 119 pounds.

Bucko Wins will also carry 119 pounds, the same impost he toted on Memorial Day, and Gallyn Mitchell retains the mount.

Point Blank may prove toughest of the others in the field of seven. Point Blank was beaten a nose by Melcapwalker when they met going a mile at Bay Meadows last October, and he subsequently won at the $16,000 claiming level and in an allowance race at Golden Gate.

Point Blank, trained by Mark Molina, tuned up for Thursday's race with a closing fifth against $16,000 claimers in a 6 1/2-furlong race on May 11 and will be stretching out to his best distance under Sandi Gann at 121 pounds.