09/13/2002 11:00PM

Sabertooth tries to prove he's no fluke


AUBURN, Wash. - Longacres Mile winner Sabertooth takes on six rivals Monday in the 1 1/16-mile, $60,000 Washington Championship.

Sabertooth, a 4-year-old son of Petersburg trained by Jim Penney, will be trying to emulate stablemate Edneator, who confirmed his quality in the Washington Championship after pulling off a stunning upset in the 2000 Longacres Mile.

Sabertooth was dismissed at 17-1 in this year's Mile, but seized command at the start and never slackened, winning off by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:34.60 under Nate Chaves at 114 pounds. Chaves again has the mount on Sunday, but the impost has been boosted by seven pounds to 121, four more than second-highweights Road Afleet and Diglett.

Road Afleet, a Dan Markle-trained 4-year-old by Adventure Road, also contested the Mile, but was compromised by a slow start and a wide trip. He closed to finish sixth of 12, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths. In his prior outing, Road Afleet missed by a nose to Colterkind in the 6 1/2-furlong Governor's Handicap, and earlier this year he captured a pair of allowance sprints.

Diglett is shipping down from Hastings Park, where he has had four stakes placings from five starts at the meeting. Diglett's last win came over this track in 2001, when he unleashed a tremendous run to win the 1 1/16-mile Washington Owners Breeders' Cup Handicap by more than six lengths in a rapid 1:41.60. Dave Wilson will venture down from Vancouver to accept the call from trainer Kris Breckenridge.

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