09/28/2005 11:00PM

Wins have been elusive for 'Memo'

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AUBURN, Wash. - Random Memo appears to have found a likely spot for his first score of the season in Saturday's Emerald Downs feature, a $32,000 optional claiming affair at a mile that has drawn five older runners.

Random Memo, a son of Memo from the barn of trainer Aubrey Villyard, was near the top of his class here last season as a 3-year-old. From only four starts, he netted a win in the one-mile Tacoma Handicap and a highly creditable third in the nine-furlong Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby.

Expectations were understandably high for Random Memo this year, but in his first five starts against stakes company he could manage only distant thirds in the FSN and Governor's handicaps, both at 6 1/2 furlongs. Dropped to the $25,000 starter allowance level for his last two outings at a mile, Random Memo ran a disappointing third to Go Devil Go and second to Flamethrowintexan. The effort behind Flamethrowintexan, who returned to win last Saturday's Sir Winston Churchill at Hastings, was Random Memo's best showing of the year and seemed to signal a return to top form.

Random Memo, who likes to run on or near the pace, figures to have his hands full early with the stretching-out sprinter Eastern Accent, who ran second to Starbird Road in two six-furlong outings at the meeting. Eastern Accent, a 4-year-old trained by Bud Klokstad, defeated allowance company at a mile last season and seems capable of remaining in contention throughout.