06/16/2005 11:00PM

Conditions should suit Sabertooth


AUBURN, Wash. - Sabertooth will face six rivals, including a pair of Canadians, in Sunday's one-mile, $75,000 Budweiser Emerald Handicap.

Sabertooth, a 7-year-old trained by Jim Penney, will carry high weight of 120 pounds on the strength of his world-record performance in the FSN Handicap on May 22, running 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:13 flat. Sabertooth is thoroughly proven at a mile, having won the Grade 3 Longacres Mile in 2002, and is the apparent speed of the field. Nate Chaves, who has ridden Sabertooth in all six of his career wins, will have the mount.

The Canadian invaders are R. Associate and Maxwell. R. Associate, a 5-year-old son of Crafty Prospector, was claimed for a bargain $20,000 at Calder in December. He has since run four strong races, concluding with a bang-up second to Hastings standout Lord Nelson in the June 4 John Longden Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. R. Associate, beaten just a head by Lord Nelson, is trained by Rick Terry and will be ridden by Kerwin John at 117 pounds.

Maxwell goes for trainer Dino Condilenios, who also trains Lord Nelson. Maxwell won three straight sprints at Hastings last year before injuring his hip in the 1 1/16-mile Burnaby Breeders' Cup Handicap in July. He returned on April 16 to defeat $75,000 optional claiming company going six furlongs, but weakened to finish sixth behind Roscoe Pito in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race on May 14. Mick Ruis will ride at 115 pounds.