06/23/2005 11:00PM

Distance the question in Tacoma


AUBURN, Wash. - Norm's Nephew will attempt to stretch his speed to a mile on Sunday when he takes on seven other 3-year-olds in the $60,000 Tacoma Handicap at Emerald Downs.

Norm's Nephew, a son of Jazzing Around from the barn of trainer Jimmy Orr, has run off three sprint wins from as many starts this season, culminating in a five-length victory over Marsh Creek in last month's Pepsi-Cola Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs. He went pretty much gate-to-wire in those wins and again figures to be on the lead Sunday, though he could be accompanied by California shipper Thirsty Guy's.

Thirsty Guy's, a son of Kahuna Jack who will be saddled on Sunday by local trainer Mark Rheinford, is one of only three in Sunday's field who have won around two turns. Thirsty Guy's led throughout 1 1/16 miles in a $40,000 starter allowance test at Bay Meadows in March, drawing off to score by nine lengths. He came back to defeat allowance company at six furlongs and is coming off a fourth-place finish behind rising star Storm Wolf in Hollywood's Grade 2 Laz Barrera Memorial at seven furlongs on May 21.

J D's Date is also thoroughly proven at route distances, having won the 1 1/16-mile Preview Stakes and the 1 1/8-mile Oregon Derby last spring at Portland Meadows. J D's Date, who is trained by Jim Fergason, is coming off a closing third behind Beau Maggie in the six-furlong Auburn Stakes on May 1.