09/09/2004 11:00PM

Slewicide Cruise has options


AUBURN, Wash. - The two best Beyer Speed Figures recorded by Slewicide Cruise at this meeting were the 95 that he earned when he finished fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap in July and the 97 he earned when he just missed in the five-furlong Washington Owners' Handicap on Longacres Mile Day.

Those Beyer Figures, at such different distances, are evidence of exceptional versatility, and that versatility affords trainer Robbie Baze the luxury of multiple options. It also gives him a tough decision to make before the second Washington Cup Day is staged on Sept. 19.

Slewicide Cruise, who came back last Sunday to win an optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs with a Beyer Figure of 89, could contest the $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic at 1 1/16 miles, or he could go in the $40,000 Chinook Pass Sprint at six furlongs.

"I haven't decided for sure yet, but I'm leaning toward the sprint," said Baze. "I'll nominate him for both races, but I'd just as soon avoid Demon Warlock and Mr. Makah."

Demon Warlock and Mr. Makah are the likely favorites for the Classic after running second and third to Adreamisborn in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. In the Chinook Pass, Slewicide Cruise would likely meet Willie the Cat, whose three straight sprint wins to begin this meeting included a world-record performance at 5 1/2 furlongs and victories in the six-furlong Seattle Handicap and the 6 1/2-furlong Fox Sports Net Handicap.

Even if Slewicide Cruise is entered in the Chinook Pass Sprint, he will likely get a chance to go long again before his current campaign is over. Baze said Slewicide Cruise will race once more after Washington Cup Day, probably in the $100,000 British Columbia Premier's at 1 3/8 miles at Hastings Park on Oct. 17.

Baze, who has enjoyed a banner meeting with 23 victories from 190 starters at the meet, said he may saddle as many as four starters on Washington Cup Day. In addition to Slewicide Cruise, Baze is considering Scatin Satin in the six-furlong Diane Kem Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Little Blast in the six-furlong Captain Condo Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings, and Time for Magic in the one-mile John and Kitty Fletcher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Forster has two Cup Day favorites

Trainer Grant Forster's deep and talented string has taken some hits lately with the loss of Washington Oaks winner Bianconi Baby and Barbara Shinpoch winner A Classic Life to ankle chips, plus the sidelining of the good 3-year-olds Pure American and Skyrider because of sore backs.

Nevertheless, Forster may saddle the favorites in two of the eight stakes to be contested on Washington Cup Day.

Forster will send out the 3-year-old No Giveaway, a winner of his last three starts, in the one-mile Trooper Seven Stakes, and the sensational 2-year-old debut winner Fit and Tough in the Captain Condo. Both colts won here on Sept. 3, with No Giveaway beating optional claiming company with 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.40 and Fit and Tough winning his 5 1/2-furlong debut by more than nine lengths in 1:02.60.

"They are both very nice colts, and they both came out of their races very well," said Forster.

"I would have liked to run No Giveaway in the Emerald Derby, but we just ran out of time with him. He is ready to go long now, though, and I think the Trooper Seven is the perfect spot for him."

Forster would have preferred to run Fit and Tough in the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles, but a late start made the shorter Captain Condo a more realistic option.

"His knees were open at the start of the meeting, so we didn't put him into training until late May," said the trainer. "I didn't want to rush him, and as a result he just isn't quite ready to route."

Three foundation mares sold

In a happy sidelight to Tuesday's Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's yearling sale, the first three foals from the WTBA's

recently resurrected Washington Thoroughbred Foundation program sold for a combined $57,000.

The foundation, endowed by John and Kitty Fletcher with a bequest of $200,000, bought three in-foal mares in Kentucky with about $60,000 of that money. Three applicants between the ages of 13 and 17 were then chosen to care for the mares and their foals until the foals were ready for sale.

The three will receive the first $5,000 of their yearling's sale price, half of the next $5,000, and a smaller percentage of anything above that up to a maximum of $10,000, with the remainder of the purchase price reverting to the foundation.

Under that formula, Ali Hull will receive $10,000 for her Housebuster colt, who sold for $43,000; Chelsea Skyles will receive $7,500 for her Dance Brightly colt, who sold for $10,000; and Heather Brownlow will receive at least $4,000 for her Afternoon Deelites colt, who sold for $4,000.