07/23/2008 12:00AM

Speedsters can set up Call Columbo


AUBURN, Wash. - A highly competitive field of 10 older sprinters will contest Friday's Emerald Downs feature, a six-furlong race for $20,000 claimers.

Though favoritism is up for grabs, Call Columbo figures to attract solid support owing to what appears to be an extremely favorable pace scenario. The late-running Call Columbo, an 8-year-old trained by Charles Essex, has won 2 of 3 starts this season. In his most recent outing, on July 6, Call Columbo came from off the pace to down $20,000 rivals by a head in 1:15.60 for 6 1/2 furlongs. Though the cutback to six furlongs would appear to work against Call Columbo, he is 5 for 21 at the distance and he posted his best career Beyer Speed Figure, a 91, at six furlongs.

Despite a surfeit of speed in Friday's headliner, Izza Copy must be viewed as a strong contender. Izza Copy, a son of Cee's Tizzy from the barn of trainer Bud Klokstad, won both of his starts here last season impressively. He downed $50,000 optional claimers in 1:07.60 for six furlongs, then came back to beat $32,000 optional claimers on a sloppy track in 1:09.40. Izza Copy has raced only once at the current meeting, finishing sixth after showing the way for $32,000 claimers on July 6. He had cause to need that race after being away since February, and he should be formidable with Friday's price cut.

Also dangerous is Fathoms Revenge, who won 3 of 5 tries last season at 3 and has worked extremely well for his return.