06/09/2010 11:00PM

Burgundy Hill has strong bloodlines


AUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs director of racing Bret Anderson cobbled together a nine-race card for Saturday, though it's hardly a thing of beauty - four maiden races, four conditioned $4,000 claimers, and, for the feature race, a $12,500 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds.

Racing begins at 2 p.m. Pacific, and one of the more interesting races on the card is the second, a $30,000 claimer for maiden 2-year-old fillies. It attracted six entries, all first-time starters, with Burgundy Hill certain to attract heavy betting interest.

A $17,000 yearling purchase at the 2009 Washington summer sale, Burgundy Hill is a half-sister to Margo's Gift, a multiple stakes winner whose defining victory came in the $250,000 Favorite Trick Stakes on the 2007 Breeders' Cup undercard at Monmouth Park.

Margo's Gift won five times at 2, and Burgundy Hill could be similarly precocious. Trained by Jim Penney for R & R Warren LLC, Burgundy Hill is by Cahill Road, Washington's leading active sire and a full brother to 1990 champion 3-year-old Unbridled. Cahill Road sired the 2007 and 2008 Longacres Mile winners The Great Face and Wasserman. More recently, he was responsible for Sis's Sis, a 3-year-old filly who won the Irish Day Handicap at Emerald Downs last Sunday.

Penney has won with 10 of his last 33 debut runners, and Burgundy Hill drew post 1, an advantageous draw going 4 1/2 furlongs. The inside post has been dominant at Emerald this season; 54 of the first 240 races (22.5 percent) were won by the horse breaking from the inside stall. Juan Gutierrez will ride.

Doris Harwood, who trained Margo's Gift, will send out a worthy challenger in Many Little Kisses. Harwood won a track-record 21 races with 2-year-olds in 2009; Many Little Kisses is by Matty G, winner of the 1995 Hollywood Futurity, and her dam, Lasting Kiss, won her only start at 2. Defending Emerald riding champion Ricky Frazier has the call.

In the feature, Harwood will send out leading contenders Movie Clip, a sharp victor against $7,500 claimers in his last start, and Amphitrites Gift, who is 2 for 2 at the meeting. Others likely to be popular in the wagering are Meet Me at Wilsons, a front-running Turf Paradise shipper trained by Mike Chambers; More Wine Mon, a fast-closing second under similar conditions in his last start; and Swiss Exploit, who is dropping a couple of levels after finishing third in a $25,000 claimer.