08/25/2004 11:00PM

A Classic Life tries first stakes


AUBURN, Wash. - A Classic Life and Charming Colleen head a field of eight juvenile fillies in Saturday's $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at a mile.

A Classic Life will be making her stakes debut on Saturday, but she is expected to be favored off impressive wins over maiden special weight and allowance company. A Classic Life, a daughter of Sky Classic who races for Mike and Amy Feuerborn, seemed to toy with her opposition when she graduated by 4 1/2 lengths at five furlongs. Facing winners at 6 1/2 furlongs, she was blocked on the turn but produced an explosive stretch kick for a four-length victory in 1:16.80.

"My only concern is whether she will be fit enough to go a mile," said trainer Grant Forster. "She only ran about a quarter-mile in her last race, and I didn't work her this week because of the wet track."

Charming Colleen is also undefeated after two starts, beating maiden special weight company at five furlongs by three lengths, then scoring a half-length victory over Queenledo in the six-furlong

Angie C. Stakes on July 11. Charming Colleen, a daughter of Charismatic who races for Frank Gaunt, has not run in 48 days.

"I wish I could have found a race for her, but she hasn't missed a beat in her training," said trainer Aubrey Villyard. "I think she's ready."

Queenledo and Roanaway Bride figure to provide the stiffest opposition to the top-rated pair.

Queenledo, a daughter of Slewdledo trained by Tim McCanna, was disqualified and placed seventh when she finished second to Charming Colleen in the Angie C., but she made amends by coming back to win the 6 1/2-furlong filly division of the Northwest Stallion Stakes by a length in 1:18.40.

Roanaway Bride is coming off a powerhouse maiden win on Aug. 14 in her second start, when she drew off to score by 7 1/2 lengths over $40,000 maidens in 1:04. Roanaway Bride, trained by Doris Harwood, is by Travers winner Runaway Groom and seems likely to relish the added ground.

Another who seems likely to improve with distance is Bella Cantu, a stretch-running daughter of War Chant who has been running out of ground in her sprint tries. Trained by Steve Bullock, Bella Cantu came within a head of graduating against maiden special weight company at six furlongs on Aug. 8 in her last start.