09/06/2012 4:09PM

Emerald Downs: Bear Creek Road, Just Zoom Will Do figure to hook up in Saturday feature


AUBURN, Wash. – A $7,500 claimer for 3-year-olds will serve as the feature race Saturday as Emerald Downs winds toward the concluding acts of its 81-day meeting. Sunday is Washington Cup Day, when many of the best runners bred in the state will compete for $215,000 in purses across six stakes races. After that, just six racing dates remain, with the Gottstein Futurity and a series of lucrative starter allowances the closing-day highlights on Sept. 23.

Bear Creek Road and Just Zoom Will Do are the horses to beat in Saturday’s one-mile feature for horses who have never won two races. The race attracted six runners, and the favorites are the quickest of the group – they could battle it out from start to finish, with late-runners Silver Road and Adam N Ryan threats to pounce should the leaders falter.

Trainer Frank Lucarelli, who began the week with a 40-37 lead over Tim McCanna in the Emerald trainer standings, will saddle Bear Creek Road, a Cahill Road gelding who ran a big race Aug. 19 in his first route attempt of the year. Bear Creek Road set a fast pace, zipping through six furlongs in 1:10.52, before faltering in the final yards to finish third, a neck behind the winner. But the final quarter-mile was glacial – 27.50 seconds – and Bear Creek Road may need to show a little more staying power to get his second victory. William Antongeorgi III, who was aboard for Bear Creek Road’s maiden victory in June, has the riding assignment.

Just Zoom Will Do will make his first start for trainer Elwin Gibson, who claimed the horse less than three weeks ago for $7,500. Just Zoom Will Do began his career in April with a flashy runner-up finish behind stakes winner D’honorable One in an allowance race but has yet to duplicate that effort in six subsequent starts. He beat Washington-bred maiden claimers in July and then gave a good effort against winners, setting the pace in a one-mile, $15,000 claimer before fading. In his most recent start, Just Zoom Will Do lost by a nose in a $7,500 sprint for horses who had never won three races. He gets some class relief Saturday, when he’ll be ridden for the first time by Leonel Camacho-Flores.

Adam N Ryan and Silver Road finished second and third in a one-mile, $7,500 claimer Aug. 25. Regal Valid, a likely longshot Saturday, was a distant fifth in the same race. Laachem, who took a bottom-level maiden claimer in his last start, rounds out the field.