10/02/2002 11:00PM

Channing Way usually gets the job done


PHOENIX, Ariz. - There are sports teams that get knocked because they do just enough to win. So do some horses.

But the important thing is the "W," and when Channing Way runs in Saturday's $30,000 City of Phoenix Handicap it won't matter to her backers or connections that she seldom leaves much margin for error. The important thing is that the 4-year-old filly wins races, lots of them.

Trained by Dan Morgan and owned by Lawrence Becker, Channing Way has won 9 of 14 going into Saturday's six-furlong race, which attracted 11 fillies and mares.

Channing Way has won five of her last eight starts and her wins came by a neck, a neck, a neck, a nose, and a nose. Those wins have come at Bay Meadows (twice), Santa Rosa, Solano, and Hollywood, proving she doesn't have to carry her track around with her. Her most recent win came Aug. 31 in a sprint stakes at Bay Meadows.

Now she returns to what is basically home, Turf Paradise, where she's 4 for 5. She breaks from the outside post under Chance Rollins.

But Channing Way carries high weight of 124 pounds, giving five to 15 pounds to her foes.

Channing Way's main opposition figures to come from Knoll Lake, who can be awfully good at times. The Kevin Lewis-trained 4-year-old filly hasn't raced since April 27, when she won the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap here by 10 1/2 lengths. She's 6 for 9 over this track and has fired fresh before: Last year off a similar layoff she won here by seven, posting a 101 Beyer. She carries Hoogie Drexler at 119 pounds.

The veteran Win a Feu comes here from northern California, where she has been knocking on the door of late. Trained by Michael Lenzini, Win a Feu has won 3 of 5 here, including the Excess Energy in May, the last time she raced locally. She carries Seth Martinez at 119.

Others of note include Miss Santa Ana, a dangerous shipper from Southern California for trainer Vladimir Cerin, and Miss Pixie, a five-length winner at Yavapai in her most recent start.

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