04/02/2007 12:00AM

Value of Gold goes for repeat


CALGARY, Alberta - All eight races Wednesday at Stampede Park will go at six furlongs following a steady diet of half-milers for the first six days of the 50-day meeting. The featured seventh race, for $30,000 claimers, drew just five older horses chasing a $19,200 purse, but it came up a competitive affair.

Value of Gold must be accorded the edge off his four-furlong tally here March 25. He rated kindly from just off the pace for rider Jake Barton and closed with a three-wide bid.

Value of Gold, a 5-year-old gelding, moves up a notch and breaks from post 4 with Barton receiving the return call from trainer Lianne Knechtel.

Value of Gold's good turn of foot will serve him well in this spot. He will likely sit just off the pace while a pair of Vancouver invaders, Swazi and If I'm Spared, duel for the early lead.

Swazi makes his Alberta debut for trainer Doug MacDonald after winning three races last year at Hastings in front-running fashion. MacDonald claimed Swazi for $8,000 last October and has put a steady string of works into the 4-year-old, who breaks from post 2 under Stephan Heiler.

If I'm Spared was left badly in his opener here March 25. Rickey Walcott breaks the 6-year-old gelding from post 3.

Dakota Duke, a stakes winner here at two years ago, drew the rail for his seasonal bow and will be closing late under Pedro Alvarado.