04/21/2004 12:00AM

Rightbyu's layoff may be question


AUBURN, Wash. - Rightbyu, who earned claimer of the meeting honors after winning five of eight starts at last year's Emerald Downs meeting, heads a field of seven older fillies and mares in Friday's five-furlong feature for $25,000 to $20,000 claimers.

Rightbyu, a 5-year-old daughter of Flying Chevron from the barn of trainer Roy Lumm, began last year's meet with a win at the $8,000 claiming level. She eventually won for a $25,000 claiming price before ending the meeting with a third and a fifth against $32,000 claiming company. She drops back down for her seasonal debut and seems realistically placed, but it is important to note that she has not raced since September and may need a tune-up before showing her best stuff. Last year, she arrived here fit and sharp after campaigning at Golden Gate.

None of the entrants in Friday's feature has raced in the last 60 days, but Summer Sails comes closest after contesting a $40,000 starter allowance race at Golden Gate on Feb. 1. She finished seventh that day after pressing the pace through a half-mile in 44.20 seconds and has since worked well. Trained by Bud Klokstad, Summer Sails has proven speed, having led throughout to defeat maiden special weight company at Golden Gate in December, and could hold a slight fitness advantage over her rivals.

Venture Forever, a 6-year-old who has won three of 22 outings at Emerald, ran second against $6,250 rivals in her first start last year and has again worked solidly, so she appears ready to fire another good shot off the bench.