08/29/2002 11:00PM

No blinkers for Flying Notes


AUBURN, Wash. - Monday's $125,000 Emerald Downs Derby at

1 1/8 miles is shaping up as round four in a lively rivalry between Flying Notes and Salt Grinder, the two 3-year-olds who have dominated the division's route stakes at this meeting.

Flying Notes won the first two rounds in the mile Seattle Slew Handicap and the 1 1/16-mile Tacoma Handicap, but he got out quite badly in both races and trainer Bud Klokstad began to worry about the possibility of a disqualification. He therefore put extension blinkers on Flying Notes for the 1 1/16-mile Washington Owners Breeders' Cup on Aug. 11 and they served their purpose, as Flying Notes held tight to the rail under regular rider Kevin Radke. Unfortunately for Flying Notes, however, Salt Grinder won the race after attacking his rival repeatedly from the outside, prompting Klokstad to make an equipment change for the Derby.

"The extension blinkers are coming off," said the trainer. "Kevin said he didn't want to relax with the extension blinkers on, that he was on the bit all the way.

"I'm sure the fact that Salt Grinder was on his hip the whole way had something to do with it, too. That horse ran a hell of a race, but I still think it would have been a different story if we had been on the outside.

"After Salt Grinder went by him and he got to the outside, he started running again. I just hope we draw outside of Salt Grinder in the derby."

Klokstad realizes he has more than Salt Grinder to worry about in the derby.

World Light, a Broad Brush colt purchased as a yearling for $190,000 by Dave and Jill Heerensperger, was scheduled to fly in from Los Angeles on Friday to contest the derby. And Flying Officer, a winner of his last two outings at Hastings Park for trainer Dino Condilenios, has already arrived on the grounds to prepare for the derby.

Klokstad won't have to be concerned about another talented contender, however. Kay Cooper, assistant to trainer Jim Penney, said Turban, a stablemate of Salt Grinder, won't be ready to contest the derby after grabbing a quarter in his stall early in August.

"He's fine now, but he missed too much training," said Cooper. "Salt Grinder will have to go it alone. We were very proud of the way he ran last time, and he has continued to train very well. This race might come up a little different with the shippers in it, but Salt Grinder is a versatile horse and we think he can do whatever is necessary.

"We'll just have to see who is in the final field and what the post positions are, then devise a strategy. Hopefully things will work out as well as they did last time."

Summer yearling sale Tuesday

This year's Emerald Downs Derby is perfectly timed to bring attention to the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's annual summer yearling sale, which will be staged on Tuesday.

Both Flying Notes and Salt Grinder were graduates of the 2000 sale, with Flying Notes going for $27,000 to Ruth and Johnny Lewis, and Salt Grinder bringing $47,000 from Homestretch Farm, the ownership group comprising several members of trainer Jim Penney's family. Turban also sold at last summer's sale for $24,000, and another derby hopeful, juvenile stakes winner Melcapwalker, sold for $10,000.

All but Salt Grinder have connections in this year's sale. Hip No. 213, a filly out of the stakes winner Timely View, is by French Deputy, the sire of Flying Notes. Hip No. 148, a Distorted Humor colt, is out of the dam of Melcapwalker, No Extra Charge. And Hip No. 205, a Lord Avie colt out of Sultan's Gem, is a full brother to Turban.

Tuesday's sale gets under way at 1 p.m. in the Morris J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion, adjacent to the Emerald barn area.

* Catalogs are now available for the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association's annual mixed sale and stallion showcase, which will be held on Sept. 21 at Jack and Cookie Root's Oakhurst Farm in Newberg, Ore. An even 100 hips have been cataloged, including 37 yearlings. A dozen stallions will also be on hand for inspection prior to the auction, which begins at 2 p.m.

* Five former and current Northwest riders have reportedly been cast for parts in the movie version of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book, "Seabiscuit." Gallyn Mitchell, Kevin Mangold, Luis Jauregui, and Joe Steiner are slated for bit parts, while Gary Stevens has been tentatively cast for the role of jockey George Woolf.