07/23/2002 12:00AM

Tough field of juveniles in sprint


AUBURN, Wash. - Two-year-olds will be highlighted on Thursday's card at Emerald Downs, as Grant Holcomb, the track's director of racing, has carded three races for the juvenile set, including the day's feature.

The feature is a 5 1U2-furlong race for $16,000 to $14,000 claimers that has drawn a field of six, including two fillies. All six entrants are coming off maiden wins, and they all won after leading virtually throughout. Something will obviously have to give on Thursday, when handicappers will have to try to determine which horses have the best chance to get to the front and which might be effective from off the pace.

The answers to those questions are by no means apparent, but it is tempting to assume that Right You Are will shoulder the pacesetting chores after registering the fastest quarter-mile time in the field in his maiden win, a 1 3/4-length score over $12,500 company on July 11. Right You Are, a Petersburg gelding from the barn of trainer Linda Northam, sped the first quarter in 22.20 seconds en route to a 5 5 1U2 furlong clocking of 1:05.60 under Dave Wilson, who gets off another of Thursday's entrants - Key To My Fantasy - to retain the mount.

Right You Are might get his stiffest pace competition from Trombone Pete, who registered a 22.40-second first quarter on his way to three-quarter-length victory over $12,500 maidens on July 3, when he ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 53.20. Ricky Frazier will ride Trombone Pete, a Consigliere colt trained by Len Kasmerski.

Two races for 2-year-old maidens are also on Thursday's card, and the three juvenile events boost the total for the meet to 42. While still well behind the 59 2-year-old races run through the same date last year, Thursday's showing suggests that most 2-year-olds on the grounds are now ready to race.

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