09/18/2007 11:00PM

Top trainers have threats in sprint

EmailAUBURN, Wash. - Tim McCanna and Frank Lucarelli, who are locked in a familiar battle for leading trainer at this nearly completed meeting, will go head to head in Friday's featured race at Emerald Downs. The feature, a 6o1/2-furlong sprint for older $25,000 claimers, has drawn a field of five.

McCanna and Lucarelli have finished one-two in the trainer standings at six of Emerald's 11 previous meetings, with McCanna winning the title over Lucarelli in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005. Lucarelli reversed that outcome in 1999 and 2005.

McCanna is leading the current race by a 47-41 score, and he has a good chance to pad his margin with Gold Lad on Friday. Gold Lad, a 6-year-old son of Gold Fever, has won 4 of his 6 starts at the meet and is coming off a sharp tally under Friday's conditions on Aug. 25, when he got 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.80 over a wet track.

Lucarelli, who won last year's training title over Howard Belvoir, with McCanna third, will send out Idabetabuck for Friday's headliner. Idabetabuck, a 5-year-old, has just 1 win from 7 starts at the meet. That win came at the expense of Gold Lad, however, as Idabetabuck prevailed over his rival by a neck in a 6 1/2-furlong race for $20,000 claimers Aug. 3, when he got the distance in 1:15. Idabetabuck came back to run third to Call Columbo and Salt Grinder in a six-furlong race for $25,000 claimers on Sept. 2. Jose Zunino rides at 120 pounds.