04/14/2006 12:00AM

Hot Talk's early speed a big plus


CALGARY, Alberta - Hot Talk, one of the quickest horses on the grounds, is the one to catch in Sunday's featured seventh race at Stampede Park.

Hot Talk was a vet scratch out of a four-furlong race on April 3 but has worked back twice since then for trainer Bob Kingston, indicating his readiness for a delayed seasonal debut.

Leading rider Quincy Welch has the mount for the first time on Hot Talk, who will meet just five rivals in this six-furlong allowance with a $40,000 claiming option.

Hot Talk, a 5-year-old gelding by Esteem, breaks from post 4, and his speed should put him on the lead early as he catches a field lacking his type of early foot.

Sweet Beau, who breaks from post 5 under Shannon Beauregard, inherits the job of chasing Hot Talk and may be first on the scene should he falter in the stretch.

Eternal Secrecy, winner of seven races last year and a virtual cinch to be named champion claimer at the annual Alberta awards banquet here April 22, figures to get a stalking trip just off those two runners.

Mr Don, Ciano Country, and Bonspiel prefer more ground and will need a favorable pace scenario to be factors in this spot.

* Sunday's card also features the Alberta debut of Fever. An offseason purchase from Southern California interests, he has been working a hole in the wind for trainer Stu Simon. Fever, a 3-year-old colt, was purchased with the Alberta stakes program in mind and heads a field of nine maidens going six furlongs in race 8.