05/05/2004 11:00PM

'Comstock' may catch Maria Kay


AUBURN, Wash. - Maria Kay and Comstock Glory, the first and second finishers in a $4,000 claiming test here on April 18, will hook up again in Saturday's top offering, a 6 1/2-furlong race for $6,250 claimers that has drawn a field of eight fillies and mares.

Maria Kay won the April 18 matchup by a length after leading throughout five furlongs in 57.20 seconds. She benefited from a potent speed bias that day, and she again appears to be the speed of her field on Saturday. Plus, she has won before at the 6 1/2-furlong distance.

Nate Chaves will again ride for trainer Gene Davis.

Comstock Glory may have the edge over Maria Kay on Saturday. Comstock Glory, a 5-year-old, was disadvantaged on April 18 by a speed bias that helped to produce eight gate-to-wire winners on a nine-race card.

She was claimed out of that race by trainer Dave Bennett, who ran her back a week later in a 6 1/2-furlong test for $6,250 and saw her close boldly to be beaten just a neck in 1:16.60.

Bennett has again named Adalberto Lopez to ride.

Also dangerous is Banker's R. N., who won at the $6,250 level last winter at Portland Meadows and subsequently proved competitive with allowance rivals. Banker's R. N., a 4-year-old daughter of Banker's Gold trained by Kelli Amundson, finished fifth to Comstock Glory on April 25. But she had traffic problems that day and seems capable of improving on that effort with better racing luck.