07/24/2007 11:00PM

Coach Sween meets Brave Hearted again


AUBURN, Wash. - Coach Sween and Brave Hearted, who finished two-three in a mile race for $15,000 claimers two weeks ago, will be rematched at the same level in Friday's Emerald Downs feature at 1 1/16 miles.

Coach Sween just missed in the mile race on July 13, falling a neck short of catching the pacesetting Intensive in 1:36. The effort proved that Coach Sween, an oversized 4-year-old son of Defensive Play, could go long. That had been in doubt through his first four tries around two turns, as he had never finished better than third while flattening out late.

"I always thought he was a router because of the length of his stride, but it seemed like he never got the right trip in any of his previous routes," said trainer Dan Markle. "Two races back when I ran him at 1 1/16 miles, for example, he broke slowly and got too far behind a real slow pace. His last race was really his first fair test, and I was glad to see that he ran well."

Brave Hearted finished three lengths behind Coach Sween on July 13, looming menacingly at the quarter pole before flattening out through the stretch. Brave Hearted, a handicap winner going 1 1/16 miles last winter at Portland Meadows, had reason to be a bit short that day - he was stretching out off a single sprint prep. He should be fully fit for Friday's race.

Cowboy Cruisser, who will be making his first start since December, is expected to set the pace in the field of nine.