08/07/2002 11:00PM

'Monarch' aims to crack 'Code'

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Sweet Monarch will be out to reverse her narrow loss to Code's Decree in the July 20 Northlands Oaks when they meet in the $75,000 Sonoma Handicap here Saturday.

Sweet Monarch's determined rally fell just a neck short in of Code's Decree in the one-mile Oaks and the 3-year-old fillies will be traveling an additional half-furlong in the Sonoma.

Richard Hamel retains the mount on Sweet Monarch, who in the spring won Stampede Park's Lilac so convincingly that she was entered against males in the Alberta Derby, where she finished a solid fourth to Lord Shogun.

Peter Wong will again ride Code's Decree, who went wire-to-wire at odds of almost 12-l to hold off the 4-5 favorite Sweet Monarch in the Oaks. Code's Decree will carry 117 pounds, two fewer than topweight Sweet Monarch.

Two invaders from the West Coast, Classic Action and Fast and Free, will carry their rivalry into the Sonoma.

Classic Action, who will be ridden by Perry Winters, was third in her most recent start, the Nanaimo Handicap, with Fast and Free fifth. Fast and Free, who will be accompanied by jockey Felipe Valdez, finished fourth in the Emerald Downs Handicap with Classic Action sixth. They also reversed positions in two other meetings, including the Supernatural when Classic Action was beaten a neck with Fast and Free third.

Candy Stick, with Quincy Welch, is coming off an allowance victory sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs but failed to light the board in her only previous stakes appearance, the Mount Royal.

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