05/29/2008 11:00PM

5-way rematch in Pepsi-Cola


AUBURN, Wash. - The top five finishers from last month's six-furlong Auburn Stakes will be rematched at 6 1/2 furlongs in Sunday's $60,000 Pepsi-Cola Handicap at Emerald Downs. Two newcomers will round out a field of seven 3-year-olds.

Fear No Evil upset the Auburn field at odds of 9-1, and he will be out to show that the win was no fluke. Fear No Evil, a son of Trust N Luck from the barn of trainer Frank Lucarelli, grabbed the lead at the start in the Auburn and dug in late to stave off a determined bid from Gallon to prevail by a head in 1:09.60. Margo's Gift finished a length farther back in third as the slight favorite over Gallon, while No Boundaries and Dat's Dream finished fourth and fifth in a field of six.

The Auburn was the second win from six starts for Fear No Evil, who graduated on the maiden $30,000 level here last summer. Leslie Mawing will again ride at 118 pounds.

Fear No Evil will need to deal with Easy Going Cecil if he hopes to be on the lead again Sunday. Easy Going Cecil, a speedy son of The Deputy trained by Blaine Wright, is coming off a gate-to-wire win over $40,000 claimers April 20, when he got 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.60 for his third straight score. Easy Going Cecil set fractions of 21.80 seconds and 44.40 that day, while Fear No Evil cut splits of 22 and 44.60 in the Auburn. Gallyn Mitchell will have the mount aboard Easy Going Cecil at 116 pounds.

A speed duel between Fear No Evil and Easy Going Cecil could set the Pepsi-Cola up for Gallon and Margo's Gift, both of whom finished strongly in the Auburn. Last year, Gallon won 2 of 7 starts, including the WTBA Lads at a mile, while Margo's Gift won 5 of 8 outings. Margo's Gift won three stakes at Emerald, one via the disqualification of Gallon, and capped his juvenile campaign with a victory in the $250,000 Favorite Trick Stakes at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26. Margo's Gift will carry high weight of 119 pounds with Ricky Frazier riding, while Gallon will have Juan Gutierrez up at 118 pounds.

The only invader for the Pepsi-Cola is Red Redding, a maiden special weight winner at Santa Anita who was recently purchased by Ron Whited's KJ Star Stable. Trainer Charlie Essex has named Kate Repp to ride at 116 pounds.