06/12/2002 11:00PM

'Road' tough if he stays calm

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AUBURN, Wash. - Knightsbridge Road will head a field of nine in Saturday's first stakes offering at the Emerald Downs meeting for 2-year-old colts and geldings, the $35,000 Captain Condo at five furlongs.

Knightsbridge Road, a gelding from the barn of trainer Debbie VanHorne, is one of four winners in the Captain Condo field, but he is the only entrant to have won on the maiden special weight level. Knightsbridge Road scored in his second start on June 2, when he dueled for the early advantage under Amir Cedeno before drawing out to score by three widening lengths in 51.60 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs.

In his debut on May 16, Knightsbridge Road acted up rather badly in the paddock, twice throwing rider Frank Gonsalves, but he was a perfect gentleman before his win.

"We learned a few things about him after that first experience, and for his second start we saddled him away from the crowd and really concentrated on keeping him calm," said VanHorne.

In his initial outing against $40,000 maidens, Knightsbridge Road was beaten two lengths by Bub, who is expected to vie for favoritism on Saturday.

Bub came from just off the pace to score in 51.60 seconds, looking every inch a professional despite making his career debut.

The other two winners in the Captain Condo also scored in their first starts. Jumpingjupiter defeated $10,000 maidens at two furlongs on May 19, while Its Sampson beat $16,000 maidens on June 7, drawing off to score by more than seven lengths after 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.80.

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