08/11/2005 11:00PM

Aussie sprinter in U.S. debut

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AUBURN, Wash. - Tessuto will make his North American debut in Sunday's Emerald Downs feature, an optional $32,000 claiming affair to be run at six furlongs with a field of six.

Tessuto, a 6-year-old New Zealand-bred by Barathea, has raced his entire career in Australia, where he won 4 of 14 grass sprints. He was purchased privately last month by owner Ken Alhadeff, who had hopes of running him in next Sunday's Grade 3 Longacres Mile. Tessuto arrived here in time to prep for the Mile in the July 31 Governor's Handicap, but he missed that race because his foal certificate was missing and he could not be tattooed. Trainer Doris Harwood received his papers last week, however, and he appears set to go after working five furlongs in a bullet 58.40 on Aug. 5.

Harwood admitted that she didn't quite know what to expect from Tessuto in his first start on dirt.

"Nobody can say for sure how he'll do," said Harwood. "He's a gorgeous horse, though, and he seems eager to run. He trained on dirt in Australia, too, so I'm not too concerned about that part of it."

Harwood said Tessuto became available after bleeding in Australia, where medications for that condition are illegal. He will make his first start on Lasix Sunday. Tessuto will be ridden by Australian native Chris Symons, who won aboard the horse last year in Australia.

Tessuto will be tested by stakes winners Corvallis Dee, Knightsbridge Road, and Crimson Design.