05/03/2005 11:00PM

Beau Maggie proves he belongs

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AUBURN, Wash. - Beau Maggie had never run in a stakes before last Sunday's Auburn at Emerald Downs, but after winning the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds by a convincing 1 3/4 lengths he figures to be a regular with the added-money set from now on.

"We'll probably take him right through the stakes schedule," said trainer Bud Klokstad. "I do feel he'll go on and run at a distance, so more ground shouldn't stop him."

Beau Maggie was part of an entry that was favored at 6-5 in the Auburn, but the depressed price was probably more a reflection of his connections' accomplishments than his own. Klokstad is Emerald's leading stakes trainer with 39 stakes wins, while rider Gallyn Mitchell tops the jockeys in stakes wins with 46. Owner Art McFadden has averaged an Emerald Downs stakes win a year since re-entering the game as an owner six years ago after a lengthy stint as an executive at Portland Meadows. He resigned as that track's president earlier this year.

As for Beau Maggie, he had won 3 of 8 starts, including a late-running score in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance prep on opening night of this meet, but even Klokstad expressed doubts before the Auburn as to whether he was truly of stakes quality.

Beau Maggie, a son of Slewdledo and Movin Maggie who was purchased for $19,000 at the 2003 WTBA summer sale, erased those doubts on Sunday. Showing a great deal more speed than he did on opening night, Beau Maggie sat just off the dueling One Special Hoss and Typhoon Aaron through a half-mile in 44.60 seconds, surged to the front in the upper stretch, and won with authority in 1:09.40 for six furlongs.

"I really didn't think he would be that close, but when they break and they're there it's usually best to let them be," said Mitchell. "I always felt like I had a lot of horse under me, and he ended up winning fairly easy."

While Klokstad was more than pleased with Beau Maggie's effort, he was disappointed that entrymate Sky Harbor had to settle for fifth after being carried out when Billy Stark drifted on the turn. In his prior try, in the opening night allowance, Sky Harbor ran fourth to his entrymate after being squeezed into the rail in the stretch.

"That horse has just had no luck," said Klokstad. "I think I'm going to have to find him an easier spot to get his heart built up before I try him against this kind again."

Danjur's stallion career cut short

Auburn runner-up One Special Hoss and fourth-place finisher Typhoon Aaron are both by Danjur, who stood at Dr. Jack and Cookie Root's Oakhurst Thoroughbreds in Newberg, Ore. Danjur died last summer, said trainer Ben Root, Jack and Cookie's son.

"It was very sudden," Ben Root said. "He got sick and died on the same day, and the cause was never definitively diagnosed."

One Special Hoss and Typhoon Aaron, both stakes winners, as well as multiple stakes winner Quartern, are members of Danjur's first full crop. He bred a full book of mares in 2004, and the foals from those breedings will be 2-year-olds next year. In all, he will have three full crops to race.

McCanna off to fast start

Trainer Tim McCanna said before this meeting began that his barn was full of question marks, but they are rapidly turning into exclamation points. Through the first nine days of the meeting, McCanna has saddled 10 winners from only 24 starters (42 percent) to double his nearest pursuer in his quest for a sixth Emerald Downs training title. Klokstad has five wins, and Dan Markle, Roy Lumm, and Junior Coffey have four wins apiece.

McCanna's latest winner was his most impressive. One race before Beau Maggie won the Auburn in 1:09.40, the McCanna-trained Pool Boy won an optional $32,000 claiming race for older horses in 1:08.20, easily the fastest clocking for six furlongs at the young meeting.

Pool Boy, a 4-year-old son of Slewdledo who has won 3 of 6 career starts, will likely go next in the $40,000 Fox Sports Net Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on May 22.

Simulcast bill awaits vote

A bill that would allow Portland Meadows to conduct year-round simulcasting has passed the Oregon Senate and moved on to the House, where it is expected to receive a floor vote in two or three weeks.

Current Oregon law allows tracks to conduct simulcasting only during their live meetings, and the latest Portland Meadows meeting ended April 24. The Oregon Racing Commission exercised its authority to permit Portland Meadows to continue simulcasting through May 31, pending disposition of the bill.