02/16/2006 12:00AM

Robert E's streak looks in danger


ALBANY, Calif. - Robert E guns for his fifth straight victory in Saturday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a $50,000 optional claimer at one mile.

A 6-year-old gelding, began his streak by winning two claiming races at Hollywood Park and was claimed out of the most recent of those for $40,000 by trainer Rene Amescua on Dec. 8. Robert E then went to Bay Meadows and scored nose victories in his next two starts, in a first-level allowance sprint Dec. 30 and a one-mile claiming race Feb. 2, when he was claimed by trainer Billy Morey for $40,000.

Although Robert E is as game as they come and has a five-furlong bullet work for Morey, he may be in a tough spot here against nine rivals. There's little doubt he'll get the lead, but the pace pressure figures to be greater than in his last start, when he edged Ghost Actor.

The likely pace factors Saturday are , who has won two straight; Megabyte, who comes off a 10-length win; Traffic Update, second in a comeback sprint against better; and Sunday Times, who in his last five starts has won three and finished second by a half-length and by a nose.

made his first start in six weeks when he was beaten by Robert E, and he seems likely to reverse that result Saturday. He'll get a stalking trip with plenty of pace in front of him and should get first run on the others, who figure to make strong moves late.

has raced on turf for most of his career, but has a win and a second, beaten a half-length, in two starts on dirt since joining Jedd Josephson's barn. In the half-length loss, Diamond Indy's jockey lost his whip inside the eighth pole.

* Carthage used new tactics Wednesday in the $41,100 , in which he scored his third straight win and second consecutive stakes victory. Carthage, who usually sets the pace, sat off the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Jeffries Bay early and pulled away to win by four lengths over Court's in Session.

Ridden by Dennis Carr, Carthage finished six furlongs in 1:08.27.

Sherman said he would love to try Carthage on the grass, but that Carthage is sprinting so well that he may continue to sprint. The next sprint here would be the Golden Gate Fields Sprint on April 22, which could be the return of Eclipse champion Lost in the Fog.