07/10/2002 12:00AM

Victor Slew works well for return


AUBURN, Wash. - Victor Slew may have a slight edge over an otherwise evenly matched group of 10 in Friday's best race at Emerald Downs, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds eligible to be claimed for $25,000.

Victor Slew, a son of Vying Victor and the fast stakes winner Ms. Phantom Slew, has been sidelined for the last eight weeks, but looks better now than when he left. In his last appearance, on May 17, Victor Slew ran second as the favorite in a six-furlong race for $16,000 claimers, finishing less than a length behind Slew's Carousel in 1:09 flat. While a tad disappointing at the time, Victor Slew's effort has since been flattered by the winner, who returned to run third to allowance company before defeating $32,000 claimers at 6 1/2 furlongs in his most recent outing on June 16. Slew's Carousel is scheduled to appear next in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Tacoma Handicap, a prep for the rich Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 2.

Victor Slew, who races for breeder Dave Thorner and trainer Larry Wolf, has not been idle during his absence. A speedy bay, he has worked four times in the last month, topped by a three-furlong blowout in 36 seconds on Wednesday. Gallyn Mitchell will ride at 118 pounds.

Victor Slew figures to get his stiffest opposition from La Slew, who is returning in six days after running fourth in a good field of eight $32,000 claimers in a 6 1/2-furlong race Saturday, and Liberty Lake, who ran second at six furlongs at the $16,000 level on June 30. Liberty Lake closed into a strong speed bias, and should appreciate the added distance on Friday.

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