08/20/2003 11:00PM

Can't beat Youcan'ttakeme


AUBURN, Wash. - Youcan'ttakeme will be heavily favored over eight other 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's $100,000 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks at 1 1/8 miles.

Youcan'ttakeme, a homebred daughter of He's Tops who races for Herman Sarkowsky, has been perfect in three starts at the Emerald meeting. She won the 6 1/2-furlong Federal Way Handicap by six lengths, the mile Son of Briartic Stakes by nine lengths, and the 1 1/16-mile Kent Handicap by 5 1/2 lengths in her last start on July 26.

In each of those races, Youcan'ttakeme took the lead at the start and widened throughout under regular rider Gary Baze, who again has the mount at 119 pounds, the weight assigned to all Oaks contestants.

"We have never really insisted that she have the lead, but it seemed like nobody else wanted to go to the front in her races here," said trainer Grant Forster. "She won from off the pace at Oaklawn last spring, and if somebody wants to go crazy on Saturday I'm sure she'll sit behind them. I'll leave the strategy to Gary Baze. I'm sure that Youcan'ttakeme will do whatever he wants."

Youcan'ttakeme drew the outside post in the field of nine, but Forster doesn't feel that will be an obstacle.

"If it were a mile race it would be different, but with the long run to the first turn she'll have plenty of time to get a good position," he said. "The post shouldn't make any difference."

Youcan'ttakeme might receive her stiffest opposition from Here's Carrie, who ran second in the Kent Handicap in just her second career start. Here's Carrie, a daughter of Announce from the barn of Terry Gillihan, won her six-furlong debut by nearly four lengths on July 4 and could improve dramatically in her second try around two turns.

Also dangerous are Top Penny, a double stakes winner at Turf Paradise who has not been worse than third in four stakes at this track; Brave Miss, who won the 1 1/16-mile Irish Day Handicap before finishing third to Youcan'ttakeme and Here's Carrie in the Kent; and Calldara, who was the top juvenile filly on the grounds here last season when she won a pair of stakes.

Emerald will inaugurate a new wager on Saturday when it offers the Washington Oaks-Longacres Mile double. The $2 bet requires fans to select the winners of both Saturday's Oaks and Sunday's Grade 3 Longacres Mile.