07/14/2005 12:00AM

Right setup seems likely for 'Gale'


AUBURN, Wash. - Full Force Gale drops a notch in search of his first win at the meeting in Saturday's best race at Emerald Downs, a six-furlong event for $12,500 to $15,000 claimers that has drawn a field of seven.

Full Force Gale, an 8-year-old with nine career wins, is winless in three starts, all against better, at the stand, but he has boosted his Beyers with each outing and may be ready to score with Friday's class drop. He is coming off a fourth to Pool Boy when racing for an $18,000 tag on July 1. Pool Boy, a stakes-placed allowance winner, was clearly slumming that day, as he won off by two lengths in 1:08.40 for six furlongs.

Full Force Gale closed late to be beaten 4 1/4 lengths while earning a 71 Beyer after hanging up Beyers of 69 and 70 in his first two starts of the year. Trainer Sharon Ross has given the call to regular rider Debbie Hoonan at 121 pounds.

Full Force Gale will have to catch Deas Island, who is coming off a front-running win over $10,000 company on June 26, when he got 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17. Deas Island, trained by Dan Markle, dropped from the $20,000 level to secure that win, his first since 2003, and he seems likely to benefit from a confidence boost.

Deas Island figures to be challenged early by Just Outrageous, however, and both Bomartini and Tickled Purple have speed to be lapped up on the leaders. A fast and contested pace would serve the cause of Full Force Gale, who seems likely to finish fastest through the stretch.