06/13/2002 11:00PM

I'madrifter vs. locals


AUBURN, Wash. - I'madrifter has arrived from California to take on seven local stars in Sunday's one-mile, $75,000 Budweiser Emerald Handicap at Emerald Downs.

I'madrifter, a 4-year-old son of Slewdledo who races for owner Dan O'Neill, arrived here Thursday night with trainer Steve Specht. The bay colt was resting in trainer Junior Coffey's barn on Friday morning, and Specht planned to take him to the track for light exercise on Saturday before racing him on Sunday.

Though he was bred in Washington by Paulson Bros. Ranch and Roy Dane, I'madrifter has never raced in his home state. He has won five of 15 starts in northern California, including this year's running of the one-mile, $100,000 Lafayette Handicap at Golden Gate in January. I'madrifter has not raced since April 28, when he finished fifth after setting the pace in the mile San Carlos Handicap at Bay Meadows, but he has been in steady training and should be set for a top try under rider Roberto Gonzalez at 117 pounds.

I'madrifter will yield highweight honors to Crowning Meeting, who equaled track records while winning the six-furlong Seattle Handicap and the 6 1/2-furlong Fox Sports Net Handicap in his last two outings. Crowing Meeting, an 8-year-old full brother to millionaire Excellent Meeting who races for George and Norma Sedlock's G and N Thoroughbreds, will carry Gary Baze at 120 pounds.

Also entered are stakes winners Secret Launch, Jade Green, Jumron Won, and Lucky Bluff, plus the sharp allowance winners Sullivanitis and Free Corona.

Director of racing Grant Holcomb has put together an attractive 11-race program for Sunday, with the Budweiser Emerald going as the ninth.

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