10/07/2005 11:00PM

'Stately' fits, and possibly at a price

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AUBURN, Wash. - Stately Jack Flash seems nicely spotted to score in Monday's Emerald Downs feature, a 5 1/2-furlong test for $7,500 claimers that has drawn a field of eight older runners.

A 5-year-old trained by Ben Root, Stately Jack Flash might go off at something of a price. He is coming off a fifth-place finish when racing six furlongs for the same claiming price Sept. 25, and finished behind two of his Monday rivals. In addition, his two wins at the meeting came against $3,500 and $5,000 company.

Nevertheless, there are solid reasons to expect a winning effort from Stately Jack Flash. In addition to thriving at 5 1/2 furlongs, over which he has four wins and a second from seven tries, Stately Jack Flash is a stalker-closer who will be meeting a field packed with front-runners Monday. Deas Island, Black Hurricane, Just Outrageous, and Bigrockcandymountain are runners who need the lead, and Swingingintherain, Bubba's Birthday, and Tickled Purple typically race on or very close to the early pace. Stately Jack Flash couldn't have done more to ensure a favorable pace scenario if he had hand-picked his opponents.

Still bothered by Stately Jack Flash's flat effort in his last race? He had excuses, as he was bumped hard at the start to get away about two lengths slowly, then raced four lanes wide on the turn. Disregard that effort, and he is coming off a pair of sharp wins.