06/12/2006 11:00PM

Several in feature want lead


AUBURN, Wash. - The accent will be on speed in Thursday's top feature at Emerald Downs, a 6 1/2-furlong race for $25,000 claimers who have never won twice.

Four of the seven contestants - Top of Class, Kaptnwice, Chickasaw Park, and Weave Bin Slewed - have done their best running on the lead. Of that group, Weave Bin Slewed appears to be quickest of the quick.

Weave Bin Slewed, a 4-year-old son of Basket Weave from the barn of trainer Mark Rheinford, showed the way to the sixteenth pole when racing at the same level in his seasonal debut, on May 27. Weave Bin Slewed cut rapid fractions of 22 seconds for the quarter and 44.80 for the half-mile

before yielding late to Aarons Last Dance, who completed six furlongs in 1:08.80. Weave Bin Slewed held quite well for second and has since drilled three furlongs in a lively 34.40, suggesting he is ready for another game of catch-me-if-you-can.

It won't be easy for Weave Bin Slewed to get clear of the other front-runners, however, and if he can't it will open the door for the closers: Gilgal, Clara's Choice, and Lightning Sharp.

Gilgal, a 4-year-old trained by Connie Bouslaugh, looks dangerous after racing competitively against tougher foes in his first two starts at the meeting. Gilgal ran sixth, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths by Rusty Rolls, against $25,000 optional claiming company on May 6. Coming back May 20, Gilgal finished fourth, 4 3/4 lengths behind Confidential Call, in a $30,000 starter allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.