05/31/2001 12:00AM

Trap Me Not arrives fit to run well


AUBURN, Wash. - Trap Me Not will travel from Hastings Park to take on five local runners in Friday's featured eighth race at Emerald Downs. The feature is an open $12,500 claiming event at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Trap Me Not, a stakes winner in Canada as a 3-year-old in 1998, is arriving in sharp form. From three starts at the current Hastings Park meeting, the speedy Trap Me Not has a win and two thirds while racing at the $15,000 claiming level. The drop to the $12,500 level should raise no eyebrows, since $12,500 in United States currency is worth more than $15,000 Canadian.

Trap Me Not is no stranger to Emerald, having crossed the border four times previously to compete in Auburn. The 6-year-old won a $40,000 optional claiming sprint and finished sixth in the Independence Day Handicap at Emerald in 1999, and he ran fifth in a $50,000 optional claimer and sixth in an open allowance race here last season.

A potential problem for Trap Me Not, trained by Rick Terry for Philip Hall, is that he must break from outside his five rivals, all of whom share his pace-pressing style. Rider Hector Ventura Jr., who is enjoying a banner meet, will need to use ingenuity to avoid a very wide trip.

Trap Me Not will be meeting fit and ready opponents. Sidekick and Itsasgoodasitgets are coming off authoritative wins against slightly cheaper company. Look at the Flag and Capable Quest are exiting in-the-money performances at the $12,500 level. It's the Pitts, will be making his

4-year-old debut after winning three races at Emerald last year.