06/26/2002 11:00PM

Anazeha is a mare on the rise


AUBURN, Wash. - Anazeha heads an intriguing cast of seven fillies in Saturday's top offering at Emerald Downs, a $50,000 optional claiming race at six furlongs.

Though all of the entrants have the potential to make a splash in stakes, a win Saturday would almost certainly propel Anazeha into the added-money ranks. The

6-year-old Anazeha boasts a career record of 6 wins from 15 starts, including two wins over handicap runners in her native Chile and is coming off an ultra-game victory at the $40,000 optional claiming level in her local debut on May 27.

On that occasion Anazeha engaged Icicle Angel for the lead after a half-mile and dueled determinedly through the stretch to prevail by a neck in 1:09 flat for six furlongs. She has since logged three sharp interim drills for trainer Sharon Ross and looms as the one to beat under leading rider Kevin Radke at 122 pounds.

Icicle Angel will be rematched with Anazeha and again looms a formidable foe, having run creditably in the one-mile King County Handicap on June 22. Icicle Angel, a 5-year-old mare who races for trainer Dick Occhiuto, finished eighth of 11 in the King County, but was beaten only six lengths. She followed a similar effort in last year's King County with a sharp win over $50,000 optional claimers just eight days later and is again returning quickly.

Knight Weave, Lasting Light, and Loveable Mandy all are coming off long layoffs after showing exceptional promise earlier in their careers.

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