08/04/2010 12:45PM

Emancipated has experience going for him at Emerald


AUBURN, Wash. – Emancipated has been around the block a few times during his three-plus seasons on the racetrack, winning 6 of 32 starts, with 7 seconds and 10 thirds. That experience could serve him well Friday against four rivals in the featured seventh race at Emerald Downs, a first-level allowance with a $25,000 optional claiming price.

Each of the four signed on to challenge Emancipated over 6 1/2 furlongs has won a maiden race but nothing else. Dress Code and Game Fever, both 4 years old, broke through with victories at the current meeting. Bogachiel, a 3-year-old, won his final start last summer. The other entrant, Victory Knock, is returning to competition following a 14-month layoff; he took a bottom-level maiden claimer at Hollywood Park in June 2009.

Emancipated, a 5-year-old trained by Robbie Baze, has made eight starts at this meeting and every effort was a good one. He won a $10,000 claiming sprint in April and a $12,500 claimer going a mile in June. He’s finished a close second in his past two starts, missing by a length to Noble Juan in a $25,000 claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs July 10, and by 2 1/2 lengths to Way Too Much in a $20,000 route less than two weeks ago. He’ll be available for purchase again Friday in the feature. Gallyn Mitchell has the riding assignment.

Emancipated likes to operate from just off the pace when sprinting; if the race goes according to form, he’ll sit just behind Bogachiel in the early going before making his best move on the turn.

Bogachiel is quick from the blocks but has lost ground in the final furlong in each of his four starts this year. In his most recent outing, June 27, he set the pace for six furlongs before fading in the one-mile Pepsi Cola Handicap for 3-year-olds. But Bogachiel has worked well for trainer Bonnie Jenne during a six-week freshening and could be tough to run down Friday. He’ll be ridden for the first time by apprentice Pedro Terrero.

Dress Code, after taking a maiden race in his 12th attempt, has been competitive in two starts against winners. In his best effort to date, he finished a nose behind Ugottabcatty under the same conditions as Friday’s feature. He then finished fifth, less than two lengths behind Emancipated, in the race won by Noble Juan on July 10. Ricky Frazier will ride for trainer Steve Bullock.