06/04/2008 12:00AM

Cutback may boost 'Georges'


AUBURN, Wash. - Georges Luck looms as a solid contender in Friday's top offering at Emerald Downs, a six-furlong test for older $15,000 claimers that has lured a full field of 12.

Georges Luck, a 4-year-old son of Matricule from the barn of trainer Frank Lucarelli, comes off a narrow miss on the same level in his seasonal debut May 23. In that 6 1/2-furlong affair, Georges Luck took the lead in the upper stretch and just failed to hold off the late charge of Call Columbo, who prevailed by a neck in 1:16. Georges Luck, who won on the $17,500 level here last season as a 3-year-old, should prove hard to deny at Friday's shorter distance.

Among Georges Luck's most dangerous foes are the class droppers Garbu's Tab and Mystic Wind. Garbu's Tab, a 5-year-old who was claimed by Ron Whited's K J Star Stable at Sunland Park in April for $25,000, pressed the pace in the six-furlong Seattle Handicap in his local debut May 4 and set the pace for $32,000 claimers going 6 1/2 furlongs in his last try May 24. Though he tired on both occasions, finishing sixth and ninth, his speed should take him farther on Friday's reduced level.

Mystic Wind, a 4-year-old trained by Roger Stevenson, has won 7 of his 20 starts, including 3 of 7 tries at Emerald Downs. He is coming off a rare dull effort against allowance rivals here May 4, when he finished last of six going 5 1/2 furlongs, but he was coming off a layoff and may have needed that race.