08/20/2008 12:00AM

Quick pace may benefit Compton


AUBURN, Wash. - Compton will attempt to make it two wins in a row Friday when he heads a field of eight older sprinters, each eligible to be claimed for $18,000 to $20,000, in the six-furlong feature.

Compton, a 5-year-old son of Benton Creek from the barn of trainer Mike Chambers, returned from a layoff of more than a year to defeat $17,500 claimers going 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.60 on Aug. 9. A key aspect of that win was that Compton, an allowance winner at Turf Paradise early last year, was able to come from slightly off the pace to score a neck victory over Mazel Power.

Compton will have a great deal of speed to stalk Friday as five of his seven opponents normally run on the lead. The front-runners include Mazel Power, who will be back to take another crack at Compton; Ore Brain, who is coming off an easy gate-to-wire win over $7,500 rivals; Ex Mountain Cop, who wired $40,000 optional claimers earlier in the meet; Spitfire Slew, who is shooting for his third straight front-running win; and Slews Destiny, who graduated on the engine for his only win from four tries.

Fort Yates, a confirmed closer, could benefit the most from the surfeit of speed in Friday's lineup. Fort Yates, a 4-year-old Tribunal gelding trained by Pat Mullens, came from far back to defeat $25,000 rivals at six furlongs for his only win from four starts at the meeting.

Toutlelew, the final entrant, is a versatile sort, but he drew the rail post and may be asked early to avoid being shuffled too far back.