05/18/2006 12:00AM

Penney colt drops into claimer


AUBURN, Wash. - Sharper Edge drops from the stakes ranks to head Saturday's feature at Emerald Downs, a $25,000 claiming race at six furlongs for 3-year-olds who have never won twice.

Sharper Edge, a son of Snowbound from the barn of trainer Jim Penney, has run exclusively in stakes since posting an impressive maiden win here last September. He ran fifth in the six-furlong Captain Condo and eighth in the 1 1/16-mile Gottstein Futurity in October before being turned out, then began his 3-year-old campaign with a troubled eighth in the six-furlong Auburn Stakes on May 7. Sharper Edge was bumped hard at the start of that $40,000 stakes, then was forced to go at least four lanes wide around the turn. With Saturday's class drop and a cleaner trip, Sharper Edge could prove the one to beat.

Coastal King also has stakes experience, having competed in two stakes at Emerald and two at Turf Paradise last year. Coastal King, a Charismatic gelding trained by Frank Lucarelli, finished third in both the one-mile WTBA Lads Stakes and the Gottstein. He began his current campaign with a fourth-place finish against allowance runners here April 21 and was entered back in an allowance Friday, but Lucarelli opted to switch into Saturday's easier spot when entries were taken Thursday.

Also exiting the allowance feature on the opening-day April 21 card is Zillah's Knight, who finished sixth.