04/21/2004 11:00PM

Speed advantage to 'Decree'

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CALGARY, Alberta - An optional $35,000 claiming race on Saturday for older fillies and mares drew a full field of 10, and racing secretary Barry McGrath took the opportunity to slot the six-furlong sprint as the fifth-race superfecta.

The field for the $21,300 feature is just one notch below stakes quality here, and the race is the best betting event on the nine-race program.

Code's Decree is one of five entrants returning from a similar race, run over four furlongs here April 11. She will receive support following her second-place effort behind the hot favorite that day, Brighton Belle.

A 5-year-old Alberta-bred, Code's Decree won two at this level last fall and has excellent early foot, an advantage in this big field. She has trained forwardly all spring for trainer Yves Trudel, who is off to fast start at the meet with five wins.

Rickey Walcott, who won three times on Wednesday evening, retains the mount on Code's Decree.

Tuktoyaktuk, a closing third behind Brighton Belle and Code's Decree in her seasonal debut, drew the rail and is eligible to show more speed on the stretchout to six furlongs.

Real Simard rides Tuktoyaktuk, and he employed a front-running strategy from a similar post last August to post a victory on her.

* The race for leading rider has heated up. Quincy Welch won a pair on Wednesday, giving him 14 for the meet and an advantage of one over Leanne Painter, who captured her 13th on the same card.