06/01/2005 11:00PM

Rain would give Tantoo the edge


CALGARY, Alberta - Tantoo and Jade Peony, two of the best sprinting mares in the claiming ranks here, head a field of five in a $30,000 claiming race at their preferred distance of six furlongs on Saturday at Stampede Park.

With the forecast of rain over the weekend, the edge would go to Tantoo, who moves up in the off going. Tantoo comes off a strong effort against similar company on May 6 in which she led to deep stretch after pressing fast fractions. Tantoo, a 9-year-old, breaks from post 3 under leading rider Quincy Welch.

Rickey Walcott retains the call on Jade Peony, who returns to the claiming ranks after an unsuccessful foray into allowance company. Jade Peony has tactical speed, and Walcott will aim to keep Tantoo in his sights during the early stages.

The beneficiary of rapid splits could be Ice Girl, who has tested stakes foes in her first two outings of the year. An upset winner of the City of Edmonton Distaff last August, Ice Girl should appreciate the drop in class and drew the rail with Chris McGregor up.

Galaxy Belle and Classa Red Wine round out the field. They drop in class in search of a reversal of dull recent form.

* Just seven were nominated to the June 11 Duchess of York, headed by Vancouver-based trainer Dave Forster's formidable duo of Socorro County and Gold Accent. Forster also nominated Teeworth winner Blowin in the Wind and Treasured Friend to the June 12 Herald Gold Plate.