04/12/2006 11:00PM

Golden Hunt tops sprint on big card


CALGARY, Alberta - A stakes doubleheader and an allowance prep for the April 29 Stampede Park Sprint Championship make Saturday's card easily the strongest of the meet.

Golden Hunt, winner of two sprint stakes last year and a candidate for divisional honors - to be announced at Alberta's "Night of Champions" here next Saturday - is the 121-pound highweight in the six-furlong allowance prep for the Sprint Championship.

Golden Hunt has registered two bullet five-furlong works for trainer Carson Frey and is the one to catch in the field of six for the fourth race, which includes five stakes winners.

The third running of the $50,000 Sales Stakes for fillies and mares kicks off the spring stakes schedule two races later as the first leg of the only stakes doubleheader at the meet.

Speedy Gone Sally, winner of two stakes last year including the 3-year-old fillies Sales Stakes, looks to continue her success. She drew the rail with regular rider Perry Winters up.

Speedy Gone Sally runs coupled with stablemate To Dream Again, who drew the outside post in the field of seven.

Speedy Gone Sally, a 4-year-old, has gone wire to wire in each of her four career victories. Tackling older rivals for the first time on Saturday, she must deal with the 10-year-old mare Tantoo, who has 24 wins to her credit, all accomplished on or near the lead.

Tantoo, who finished second in this race to the ill-fated A Shaky Start last year, is the 120-pound highweight, conceding a pound to Speedy Gone Sally.

An entry from Don Gilkyson's barn, comprising the speedy Certainly Regal and her stretch-running stablemate Banjo Babe, also is worth a look at a price in this six-furlong handicap.

If Certainly Regal challenges the pacesetters, it could create a favorable pace scenario for Banjo Babe, who won five races last year.

The older colts and geldings version of the Sales Stakes follows one race later, with eight rivals sprinting six furlongs for a $50,000 purse.

Defending champion Code Name Fred, now 10 years old, is the 119-pound highweight.

Trainer Ron Grieves had Code Name Fred ready to roll last spring off works alone, and employs the same strategy this time around. His major rivals all appear to be graduates from last year's 3-year-old crop.

Those who have a chance of defeating Code Name Fred include Blinkanhesgone, Bear Picasso, Northtown Will, and the uncoupled pair of Liquid Louie and Gusso from Don Gilkyson's shed row.