06/30/2012 2:22PM

Emerald Downs: Frenzo has versatility in Tuesday claiming sprint


AUBURN, Wash. – Frenzo headlines the feature race Tuesday at Emerald Downs, a $25,000 claiming sprint for horses who have never won twice, but the big show comes after the races, when Emerald presents its annual fireworks spectacular. The first race is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Pacific, with the rockets set to launch about 30 minutes after the 10th and final race.

Frenzo is winless in four starts this year, but is coming off a career-best effort. Equipped with blinkers for the first time, the Mike Puhich trainee set a crackling pace in a $12,500 claimer before yielding to the eventual winner, Tribaltique, who ran six furlongs in 1:08.30. The effort earned Frenzo a Beyer Speed Figure of 75, the best recent effort among the six entrants in Tuesday’s race.

Frenzo, whose only victory came in a $40,000 maiden claimer at Del Mar last August, is likely to have company in the early going, with recent maiden winner Postulate and speedy filly Princess Campbell both capable of running a half-mile in less than 45 seconds. But Frenzo doesn’t necessarily need the lead; he rallied from just off the pace in his only victory.

Postulate covered six furlongs in 1:09.54 on the same day Frenzo followed Tribaltique home in a much faster race. Postulate was able to sprint clear and dictate the tempo, but may have to work a little harder in his first start against winners. Juan Gutierrez, the leading rider at Emerald, has the assignment on Postulate for trainer Chris Stenslie. Javier Matias will ride Frenzo.

Princess Campbell, returning from a two-month layoff for trainer Larry Wolf, also has a quick turn of foot. She led all the way in a $15,000 maiden claimer in her only start of 2011 and then set the pace in a $17,500 claimer May 18 in her first start this year. She hasn’t raced since, but Princess Campbell has been working forwardly and could have a say in the outcome under Leonel Camacho-Flores.

Big Bad Jim and Exclusive Star, a pair of late-running sprinters, stand to benefit if the pace is fast. Big Bad Jim looked sharp beating $10,000 maiden claimers in his last start, and while the class leap Tuesday could be daunting, Big Bad Jim is eligible to keep improving. He was competitive against top-level maidens at Golden Gate early in 2011 before injuries forced him to the sideline for 13 months.

Exclusive Star, one of Frenzo’s stablemates, has been first or second in 4 of 6 starts. Memo to Mya, outrun by allowance foes in his last start, rounds out the field.