08/19/2009 12:00AM

Run Royal Reign on upswing at Emerald


AUBURN, Wash. - Run Royal Reign and Edgerin J top a field of seven entered in the feature race Friday at Emerald Downs. A $12,500 claimer for horses that have never won three times, the 6 1/2-furlong feature is the seventh event on an eight-race program that begins at 6 p.m.

Run Royal Reign, a 4-year-old bred in California, has had an up-and-down seven-race career. A romping winner in his racing debut at Emerald last September and an easy winner for $12,500 at Golden Gate in December, he failed to finish his first 2009 start after bleeding during the race, and then finished last on July 25, beaten by more than 20 lengths, in his first start following a six-month layoff.

But Run Royal Reign was a sharp second behind Jake La Gold in his most recent outing and could move forward Friday in his third start following the layoff. Troy Stillwell has the riding assignment for trainer Petra Lewin, who has hit the board with three of her four starters at the meeting.

Edgerin J appeared to have a promising future after his career debut May 10, when he held on gamely after dueling for the lead from the outset. But the 3-year-old Edgerin J, trained by Jim Penney, hasn't finished within 10 lengths of the winner in four subsequent starts. He drops into the claiming ranks for the first time Friday, a move that could yield a quick turnaround. Juan Gutierrez is scheduled to ride.

Bobby Rar Rar figures to set a rapid pace. Impressive as a 2-year-old in 2007, when he won a six-furlong maiden race by 8 1/2 lengths in 1:09.80, Bobby Rar Rar was limited to one start in 2008 because of injuries and is winless in three outings this year. He finished second for $7,500 after setting the pace in his last start, setting him up for a peak effort Friday. Trained by Marshall Allen, he'll be ridden by Gallyn Mitchell.

Hickory Road also will attract wagering support. An easy winner over $7,500 foes at a mile in his last start, he'll be ridden for the first time by Emerald Downs's leading rider Ricky Frazier. Hickory Road tuned up with a 47-second four-furlong workout Sunday, the fastest of 63 moves at the distance.

The rest of the field includes recent maiden winner Long Trip Alone; Last Time Around, who is turning back in distance after four route efforts; and Deputys Pride, who has been sidelined since a second-place finish at Friday's level in early May.