09/03/2002 12:00AM

Dig a little deeper and be rewarded


AUBURN, Wash. - A creative handicapper could build a case for any of the eight entrants for Thursday's Emerald Downs feature, a six-furlong race for older $8,000 claimers, and that makes it an intriguing betting proposition.

Of course, some cases are easier to build than others. Everyone will recognize Capable of Passion as a strong contender, because he is coming off a sharp win over $10,000 company at 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 16. Capable of Passion has demonstrated an ability to string good races together, having won four in a row here at last year's meeting.

Sanskrit is also an obvious contender, because he is coming off an authoritative two-length win over $6,250 company. Other obvious contenders are Washington Moon and Dr. Slew, who are dropping after finishing third and fourth, respectively.

Less obvious, and therefore potentially more rewarding, are Proud Louie and Tyler Jay. Proud Louie, a winner of 13 of his 34 career starts, figures to lose support after going winless when well-bet in his first three starts at the meeting. He ran second against $12,500 rivals in his local debut, then did not respond to rating tactics in his second start and was victimized by a speed-stopping surface last time out. Trainer Jonathon Nance has excellent statistics when he brings horses back quickly, and Proud Louie will be returning in just seven days.

Tyler Jay also sports an enticing trainer angle, as he was claimed out of a disappointing effort on July 26 by Bud Klokstad for his wife, Billie. Klokstad shows a strong return on investment with recently claimed runners.

for Emerald Downs entries.

Subscribers: to purchase past performances for Emerald Downs.

Non-subscribers: to purchase past performances for Emerald Downs.