05/23/2002 11:00PM

Canadians help fill stakes field


AUBURN, Wash. - A full field of 12 older fillies and mares, including four who are invading from Canada, will run in Sunday's $35,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes at Emerald Downs.

Grooms Derby, a triple stakes winner at Hastings Park, heads the Canadian contingent in the 6 1/2-furlong stakes. Grooms Derby has started only once this season, finishing a good second to Inish Girl after helping to set

the pace in the 6 1/2-furlong Strawberry Morn Stakes at Hastings on May 11. The 5-year-old Grooms Derby will be denied the services of regular rider Pedro Alvarado because he cannot ride in the United States at present, but Frank Serna will come in from Vancouver to accept the call from trainer Michael Turner.

Joining Grooms Derby on her trip south are Grey Tobe Free, Always a Dixie, and Queen of My Nights.

The Canadians will face a formidable group of local stakes runners, including the Bud Klokstad-trained duo of Neon Queen and Elegant Colors, who will race as an entry. Neon Queen is coming off her initial stakes victory, a sharp score over Silky Secret and others in the May 5 Hastings Park Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs. Elegant Colors, a stakes winner at Emerald as a 3-year-old in 2000, is coming off a win over allowance company in her seasonal debut at six furlongs on April 28.

Silky Secret again figures as a contender after running third in the opening day Ropersandwranglers Stakes, then running second to Neon Queen after helping to set the pace in the Hastings Park Handicap.

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