09/02/2010 3:30PM

Field of nine at Emerald not easy to separate


AUBURN, Wash. – Seattle Game goes for her third straight win when she headlines Saturday’s featured eighth race at Emerald Downs, a $10,000 claimer for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Nine horses are entered, and it’s a consistent group − the field has combined for 11 wins, nine seconds, and 13 thirds in 49 starts at the meeting, and four are coming off a victory.

Seattle Game figures to be a lukewarm favorite. After failing to make an impact in a $32,000 optional claimer in early June, she dropped in for $10,000 July 18 and led every step before losing by a head to Jasmine’s Melody. Seattle Game then blew a long lead in her next start Aug. 1 but was awarded the victory via disqualification. Claimed by trainer Frank Lucarelli for $10,000, she stepped up to win for $15,000 two weeks ago, leading throughout.

If Seattle Game breaks cleanly from the inside post position under Francisco Duran, she can assume the early lead, with Sun City, All the Rage, Jasmine’s Melody, and Jadie Cahill in close pursuit. Several others, including last-out winners Trilly Kat and Seen Falls, are likely to bide their time from the back.

All the Rage is a big threat to Seattle Game. Trained by Charles Essex, All the Rage has been claimed twice at the meeting after beginning the year in a bottom-level, $3,500 claimer. She has made three starts for Essex, winning a $15,000 claimer by 5 1/4 lengths June 26 and posting midpack finishes in a couple of $32,000 optional claimers. Dropping sharply for Saturday’s race, she looms large from a stalking position.

Sun City, Trilly Kat, and Sheen Falls are each coming off wins. Sun City won for $7,500 on Aug. 15, Trilly Kat rallied from far back to beat $10,000 claimers at one mile July 11; and Sheen Falls stormed from last to win a $7,500 claimer for nonwinners of three Aug. 7.

Primadonna Pearl, a four-time winner at Emerald Downs last summer, could contend Saturday, though she has finished behind Seattle Game and Roxy Skylar in her past two starts.