07/22/2010 11:13AM

Crocodile Tuff will be coming late at Emerald


With two quick sprinters who drew the inside posts and a stakes-winning stalker in the field for Saturday’s Emerald Downs feature, Crocodile Tuff should get a nice setup in the one-mile $32,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

Crocodile Tuff, 4, has not won since graduating as a 2-year-old, but hit the board in five of eight starts last year and has run second in all three starts this year. Last out she rallied to finish second behind Claire Annette here in the one-mile King County Stakes. Crocodile Tuff is willing to sit back a bit early and should appreciate what looks like a fast pace.

On the rail is All the Rage, who gets big boost up the class ladder after winning a $15,000 claiming sprint in wire-to-wire fashion on June 26. That was her first start for trainer Charles Essex, who took her for $10,000 on May 23. All the Rage, who ran third in her only try at this distance, opened up early in her last race and cruised to a 5 1/4-length victory. She matched her career best with a 79 Beyer. Before that race most of her success had come as a closing sprinter.

Breaking just outside All the Rage is Super Dixie, who has even more speed and comes off a third at this level in a June 11 sprint. She was a stakes winner sprinting as a 2-year-old, and, like All the Rage, makes her second start for a new trainer, Jim Penney, who claimed her for $25,000 on May 15.

Super Dixie has had no success routing, although her route tries came in stakes attempts.

Perfect Finish won the Mt. Hood at one mile and Diane Kem at six furlongs last fall at Portland Meadows. She beat Crocodile Tuff while going wire-to-wire in an April sprint here. Perfect Finish usually sits in a close stalking position, and she should get that type of trip here as she tries to improve on a fifth-place finish in the King County.

Private Fortune, who is the lone 3-year-old in the field, Nina Win, and Ghost Tree round out the field.