05/12/2010 12:00AM

Classielyte seeks third win of meet

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AUBURN, Wash. - Classielyte can become the first three-time winner at Emerald Downs' 2010 meeting with a victory in Friday's feature race, a $15,000 claimer for older horses at six furlongs. Racing begins at 6 p.m. Pacific, and the feature is the sixth of seven races.

Co-owned by Gene Gustafson and trainer Frank Lucarelli, Classielyte captured a $10,000 claimer on opening night April 9, and then stepped up to beat $17,500 claimers by 5 1/4 lengths on a sloppy track April 24. First or second in each of his past six starts, the front-running Classielyte has been rolling since Gustafson and Lucarelli claimed him for $6,250 at Golden Gate in late January.

In his victory on opening night, Classielyte, a 5-year-old son of Memo, sprinted through a half-mile in 44.20 seconds and had enough left to hold off Immigration by three-quarters of a length, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.40, one second off the track and North American record. Classielyte was even sharper in his second start. Racing on a wet surface for the first time, he opened a commanding lead on the turn and coasted through six furlongs in 1:09.60.

Hot apprentice Pedro Terrero, aboard for both victories, has the call again Friday. Terrero, 25, enters the weekend with 12 wins in 33 starts and is tied for fourth in the jockey standings, one victory behind co-leaders Gallyn Mitchell, Ricky Frazier, and Inoel Beato.

Mitchell has the riding assignment on Destinys Roar, who finished fifth, more than eight lengths behind Classielyte, as the 4-5 wagering favorite in his last start. Before that, the Vann Belvoir-trained Destinys Roar won a $25,000 claimer by four lengths, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.80.

With sunny skies in the forecast for Friday, the return to a fast track could help Destinys Roar turn the tables on Classielyte. In any event, the two horses should help ensure a rapid pace, a scenario that could play into the hands of late-runners Whitney Bridge, a promising 4-year-old making his second start at the meeting, or Messy Marvin, who finished seventh and last in the 2009 Emerald Derby in his only local start.

Completing the eight-horse field are Emancipated, winner of a $10,000 claimer April 23; Skyrider, a 9-year-old with 13 lifetime victories; Burgundy Road, who downed $12,500 Washington-breds in his only start at the meeting; and Thunder Thorn, who was stakes-placed at Portland Meadows this winter.