09/22/2009 11:00PM

Courtly Slew, Global News head feature


AUBURN, Wash. - Courtly Slew and Global News, both two-time winners this summer, headline the feature race Friday as Emerald Downs enters the final weekend of its 2009 meeting. The $75,000 Gottstein Futurity highlights Saturday's program, and the season concludes Sunday with the Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge.

A $20,000 claimer for 2-year-olds, Friday's six-furlong feature is the sixth event on an eight-race program starting at 6 p.m. Eight horses, including three with stakes experience, are schedule to run.

Courtly Slew has hit the board in 5 of her 6 starts. She won her maiden in her fourth start, and then, after finishing fourth in her first try against winners, beat males in a $20,000 claimer for nonwinners of two on Sept. 7. She took kindly to rating tactics that day and figures to employ a similar strategy Friday. Jockey Juan Gutierrez has the call for trainer Bill Tollett.

Global News, who is trained by Howard Belvoir and will be ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, won his most recent start, a $15,000 claimer, last Thursday. He finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Courtly Slew, in his previous start, and was a distant fifth after forcing the pace in the six-furlong Premio Esmeralda Stakes on Aug. 9. Global News scored a front-running victory in a $30,000 maiden claimer in June and came from slightly off the pace in his victory last week. He could take a stalking position Friday while Fast Trade and Fisher Creek vie for the lead.

Fast Trade, an impressive maiden winner Aug. 15, has had the lead at the first call in each of his past four starts. After his maiden victory, he finished fourth in the restricted Dennis Dodge Stakes on Sept. 13 after vying for the lead for a half-mile. That performance could set him up for a strong effort in his second try against winners. Trainer Chris Stenslie has tabbed Debbie Hoonan-Trujillo to ride.

Fisher Creek won his racing debut July 10 for Tim McCanna, who is trying to win his ninth Emerald Downs training title. He then finished fourth behind Hollywood Harbor in the Premio Esmeralda, and was a close second behind Courtly Slew in his third start Sept. 7. Breaking from the outside post Friday, he figures to engage Fast Trade from the start. Regular rider Seth Martinez has the call.

Barcoman, an impressive maiden winner in his last start, also figures to attract wagering support. Itsafineredwine, Slick Eddie, and Shakin Shamus complete the field.