08/09/2002 12:00AM

Salt Grinder again meets Flying Notes

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AUBURN, Wash. - Flying Notes will accept a highweight assignment of 122 pounds when he heads a compact field of five in Sunday's $65,000 Washington Owners Breeders' Cup Handicap at Emerald Downs.

The race will be contested over 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as Flying Notes's last outing in the Tacoma Handicap on July 14. In the Tacoma, Flying Notes led throughout to score by nearly three lengths in a fast 1:41.40 despite drifting out most of the way under Kevin Radke, who again has the call from trainer Bud Klokstad. The win gave Flying Notes five wins from seven career starts. He finished second after troubled trips in his other two races, and Klokstad feels that the horse, a talented son of French Deputy out of Caromine, by Caro, could well be undefeated with better racing luck.

The intrepid Salt Grinder will try for a third time to upset him on Sunday. Salt Grinder, who races for Homestretch Farm and is trained by Jim Penney, finished second to Flying Notes in both the one-mile Seattle Slew Handicap and the Tacoma, easily outdistancing the rest of the fields in those races. Before taking on Flying Notes, he was undefeated through his first three starts, which included a track-record-setting performance in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race in April and a stakes win at 6 1/2 furlongs at Hastings Park in June.

Rounding out the field are another Klokstad trainee, Melcapwalker, who won the Emerald Express Handicap here last season, and a pair of maiden winners, Hollow Memories and Screamin Passion.