09/27/2007 12:00AM

Boys will try to beat Smarty Deb

EmailAUBURN, Wash. - Smarty Deb will attempt to become the first filly to win the Gottstein Futurity in more than a decade when she takes on nine talented males Saturday in the $100,000 race for juveniles at 1 1/16 miles.

Smarty Deb, a daughter of Smart Strike who races for Jerre Paxton's Northwest Farms, will be attempting to duplicate the feat of Favored One in 1994. Favored One, who prepped for the Gottstein with an easy win in the WTBA Lassies at a mile, went on to win the 1995 renewal of the Grade 2 Princess Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Smarty Deb is undefeated after three starts, having beaten male competition in a maiden special weight race before recording smart wins in the six-furlong Angie C. and the one-mile Barbara Shinpoch, formerly the WTBA Lassies. In her Shinpoch victory on Sept. 2, Smarty Deb got the mile in 1:36.20. A day earlier, Gallon had won the WTBA Lads for juvenile males with a mile in 1:37.20.

Gallon and stablemate Cafe Tortoni, both trained by Jim Penney, will be among Smarty Deb's most dangerous challengers in the Gottstein. Gallon, a son of Victory Gallop, finished first in the six-furlong Premio Esmeralda in August, but he was disqualified and placed second. He earned his stakes brackets with a neck win over the pacesetting Cafe Tortoni in the Lads. Cafe Tortoni, a Katahaula County gelding, was making only his second start in that race after winning his debut at five furlongs.

Another threat is Smarty Deb's stablemate Margo's Gift, a son of Polish Gift who races for Ken Alhadeff's Elttaes Stable. Margo's Gift has won 4 of 5 starts, including a win via disqualification in the Premio Esmeralda, and his lone loss came when he was pulled up after a quarter-mile in the Lads with a suspected hoof injury. He came back to post a resounding seven-length win in the six-furlong Captain Condo Stakes on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 16, when he got the distance in 1:08.40.

The sleeper in Sunday's field could be Sea Speaker, who will be stretching out a full four furlongs after winning his debut over maiden special weight company at 4 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 25. Sea Speaker, a son of Stormy Atlantic from the barn of trainer Pat Mullens, established a track record that day when he stopped the timer in 50 seconds.