09/21/2007 12:00AM

Close rivals rematched at one mile

EmailAUBURN, Wash. - Welken and Victory for M'lady, who finished just a neck apart in a similar spot on Sept. 9, will be rematched in Sunday's feature at Emerald Downs, a one-mile second-level allowance that drew a field of five 3-year-old fillies.

Welken, from the barn of Steve Bullock, broke through with a hard-fought score when making her fourth start of the season in the Sept. 9 race, which was run in 1:35.80. That effort went a long way toward fulfilling the promise she demonstrated here as a 2-year-old, when she defeated maiden special weight company and ran third in the Angie C. Stakes.

Welken will again be ridden by Nate Chaves, who has been one of the hottest riders on the grounds since reuniting with his former agent Steve Peery about a month ago.

Victory for M'lady is still a maiden after four starts and is therefore racing well above her conditions, but there can be little question that she fits after running Welken to a neck decision in her first attempt around two turns. Victory for M'lady, a stoutly bred daughter of Victory Gallop trained by Blaine Wright, was getting to Welken at the end of their prior meeting and needs only the slightest improvement to reverse the outcome. Leading rider Ricky Frazier has the mount.

Also dangerous is Libby Creek, who won a first-level allowance race at a mile before finishing fourth to Welken and Victory for M'lady.