08/23/2012 4:32PM

Emerald: Edge Forward and Brady's Kat helped by sprint distance

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AUBURN, Wash. − After failing to make inroads in the Emerald Downs Derby, Edge Forward and Brady’s Kat will turn back to a sprint distance Saturday in the feature race at Emerald Downs. They headline a field of six 3-year-olds competing for an $18,900 purse in a first-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Edge Forward finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Seattle Slew Handicap on July 15 and was afforded a big chance at 5-1 in the nine-furlong Emerald Derby two weeks ago. After pressing the pace for six furlongs, he retreated quickly and was eased to the line.

Trainer Doris Harwood has elected to bring Edge Forward back on 12 days’ rest, and as a gelding by Honour and Glory, he might be more effective around one turn. Edge Forward has tried sprinting twice in his career: In his debut May 12, Edge Forward missed by a neck to Brudda Clyde, a three-time winner at the meeting, after making a bold four-wide move around the turn. In his second outing, also at six furlongs, Edge Forward collared the speedy Nico Suave at the top of the stretch and won easily.

Mawing, second behind Juan Gutierrez in the Emerald Downs jockey standings, will ride Edge Forward for the first time Saturday. They’ll start from the outside post position, which would seem to complement his stalk-and-pounce running style.

Brady’s Kat is already a stakes winner at 6 1/2 furlongs – he took the restricted Dennis Dodge Stakes on a sloppy track in September in the final start at 2. He is winless in five starts this year but was a fast-closing third in the 6 1/2-furlong Auburn Handicap on June 3 before coming home fifth in the Emerald Derby, seven lengths behind the winner, Makors Finale.

Edge Forward and Brady’s Kat are late-running sprinters, and they’ll have several speedy horses to target. I Keep Saying, breaking from post 1, and Tough Road Ahead, starting from post 3, dueled through a half-mile in 44.20 seconds in their last start and could hook up again. Tough Road Ahead, claimed for $15,000 in July, will be seeking his fourth victory in six starts.

Run Leyton Run, 2 for 3 lifetime, also has ample speed, and First Last Chance, who finished second in a $40,000 starter allowance at Churchill in November, has yet to make an impact in three starts in 2012.