09/14/2005 11:00PM

'Jupiter' is always right there

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AUBURN, Wash. - Jumpingjupiter may have a slight edge over seven rivals in Saturday's highly competitive Emerald Downs feature, a six-furlong affair to be run under optional $25,000 claiming conditions.

Jumpingjupiter's advantage rests in his remarkable consistency. In five starts this season, the 5-year-old Jumpingjupiter has not finished worse than second. He won a 6 1/2-furlong race for $20,000 claimers in June, and he is coming off a 6 1/2-furlong

victory over $10,000 starter allowance company on Aug. 12. Jumpingjupiter, a son of Storm Blast, signaled his readiness with a bullet five-furlong drill for trainer Bud Klokstad on Wednesday, and he will be ridden by regular rider Gallyn Mitchell.

Among Jumpingwithjupiter's most formidable foes is Road Afleet, who will be shortening up after a string of four straight route races, including a win over optional $25,000 claimers at a mile on July 30. Road Afleet has sprinted well in the past, as he ran third going six furlongs against optional $32,000 claimers in his 2005 debut on May 1 and he finished third to Slewicide Cruise in last year's Chinook Pass Stakes at six furlongs. Trainer Grant Forster has named leading jockey Kevin Krigger to ride.

The field includes a pair of 3-year-olds. Padilla Bay is coming off an impressive maiden victory in $30,000 company on Aug. 26. Packy will be making his second start on the comeback trail.