05/07/2003 11:00PM

'Gale' just needs clean trip


AUBURN, Wash. - Full Force Gale is the one to beat in Saturday's top offering at Emerald Downs, a six-furlong dash for older $25,000 runners that has drawn a field of six.

Four members of the field are exiting a similar race on April 26 in which Hollow Memories led throughout to score by three-quarters of a length in a rapid 1:08.80. Full Force Gale finished fast for second despite encountering traffic problems. He was forced to steady when crowded on the backstretch and then raced three to four lanes wide around the turn.

Off that effort Full Force Gale, a 6-year-old with six career wins, figures to be favored under Gary Baze, who has the call from trainer Sharon Ross at 119 pounds.

Go Not Whoa, Star of Elttaes and Sullivanitis followed Full Force Gale under the wire in their April 26 meeting, and they will need to improve to threaten Full Force Gale, who had 1 1/4 lengths on the third-place Go Not Whoa at the finish.

Star of Elttaes was just a neck farther back in fourth, while Sullivanitis finished fifth of six as the 7-5 favorite and did not have an apparent excuse. He looks like speed in Saturday's line-up, however, and could bounce back if allowed to dictate the fractions under leading rider Kevin Radke.

Lucky Bluff and Nabatean are the new faces in Saturday's cast and each will be making his first start at the meeting. Lucky Bluff has been off since last September, when he was unplaced in the Washington Championship, while Nabatean is coming off a Turf Paradise campaign in which he was unplaced in three starts.