06/23/2004 12:00AM

Claiming field tough to call


AUBURN, Wash. - An extremely competitive field of 11 fillies and mares, each eligible to be claimed for $20,000 to $18,000, will test the skills of handicappers in Friday's six-furlong feature at Emerald Downs.

Dashing Lady seems certain to attract considerable support after running second in a 6 1/2-furlong event on May 31. Dashing Lady, a 4-year-old daughter of Dashing Writer from the barn of trainer George Collelo, was making just her second start of the meeting in that race, and seems capable of taking another step forward on Friday. She won two of her seven outings over this course last season.

Both Charlie's Charmer and Ms. Foxy Roxy finished behind Dashing Lady in the May 31 race, but neither were beaten by much, and both got away slowly. The slow start might not have meant a great deal to Charlie's Charmer, who always comes from far back, however, Ms. Foxy Roxy, a daughter of Capote trained by Connie Bouslaugh, was coming off a pair of pace-pressing wins at Turf Paradise.

Also dangerous are L G's Gold, who ran second under Friday's conditions on June 12, and Touchabull, who held second after winning a three-way pace contest in another race on June 12. Touchabull raced 6 1/2 furlongs against $16,000 claimers that day, but was meeting open company. Friday's race is for nonwinners-of-two races above the $16,000 level.

Sugar Sleet, who finished second to open $16,000 males on June 5, is also taking an effective drop in class.