05/31/2007 11:00PM

Streaking 'Duke' goes up ladder


CALGARY, Alberta - Dakota Duke seeks his third straight sprint victory in Sunday's feature here at Stampede Park, a $40,000 optional claimer, and he will have to run down the speedy Vested in Slew to accomplish the feat.

Dakota Duke suffered through a winless 2006 campaign after being among the top 3-year-olds on this circuit the previous year. He opened his current campaign with a poor effort versus $30,000 claimers, prompting trainer Greg Tracy to drop him in for a $17,500 tag next out. Dakota Duke responded with an easy win followed by another handy score over $30,000 claimers.

Now it's up the ladder again in a race that drew seven older horses, including the entry of Rindanica and Light of Gold.

Dakota Duke drew post 4 with Rickey Walcott up and will likely make the first run at Vested in Slew, who will break from post 5 under Shannon Beauregard.

Vested in Slew, a lightly raced 5-year-old, is best sprinting and comes off a third-place finish going a mile. In his previous race, Vested in Slew forced the pace throughout in the Stampede Park Sprint Championship and held on for third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths.

Rindanica drew the rail with Quincy Welch up. He ran well in his seasonal debut, a race he undoubtedly needed after making just one start in 2006.

Light of Gold has not returned to the form that saw him run a strong second to Sparhawk in the Red Diamond Express last fall.