07/11/2005 11:00PM

Mt. Vista likely ready this time

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AUBURN, Wash. - Mt. Vista heads a field of eight in Friday's Emerald Downs feature, a $7,500 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles.

Mt. Vista, trained by Hugh Carney, won his first start at this meet - at 6 1/2 furlongs for a $7,500 tag on June 4. He finished fourth behind winner Do's Buckshot when stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in a $3,500 starter handicap on June 16, but he might not have been ready for a route off just one sprint prep. In his previous race at 1 1/16 miles, last winter at Portland Meadows, Mt. Vista lost by only a neck to My Friend Dave, the eventual horse of the meet.

Mt. Vista, a stretch-runner, should have an adequate pace to target. Bucko Wins and Themanwithebigcigr, who drew posts 1 and 2, both have early speed in routes, and Themanwithebigcigr has run his best races on the lead. In addition, the stretching-out sprinter Bigger Wagner also should show speed at this distance.

Another horse who could benefit from a fast pace is Forrester Found, who came from just off the pace to defeat $4,000 rivals at a mile on June 18. Though he steps up sharply in class on Thursday, Forrester Found ran the highest last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 68, in his recent win. His win was flattered when Sanzibar, who ran second in that race, returned to win last Friday.