08/23/2013 2:47PM

Emerald Downs: Chu and You faces stiffer challenger in Barbara Shinpoch Stakes

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AUBURN, Wash. – Chu and You, who has yet to be headed in two starts, looms the horse to beat Sunday in the $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at Emerald Downs. The meeting’s second stakes race for 2-year-old fillies attracted a field of seven, with Chu and You likely to start as a narrow favorite over recent maiden winner Charismata. First post for the 10-race card is 2 p.m. Pacific.

Chu and You, a homebred for Mike and Amy Feuerborn of Maple Valley, Wash., has been spectacular in sprinting to long leads and coasting home under Juan Gutierrez to win with something left. She scored by 5 3/4 lengths in a $25,000 maiden claimer in her debut last month, and then had the lead to herself in the Aug. 4 Angie C Stakes, kicking away to win by 4 3/4 lengths.

While she has yet to be threatened, Chu and You could face a stern test over the Shinpoch’s 6 1/2 furlongs. Charismata, a daughter of Curlin who was bred in Kentucky by her Seattle owners, Jack and Ivor Jones, hinted at a bright future in her front-running maiden victory on Aug. 11. While she did not display the same kind of push-button acceleration as Chu and You, Charismata needed only mild urging to prevail by 2 3/4 lengths.

Both fillies were bred to play a leading role. Chu and You, by Kris S. out of the Volponi mare Bronze Charmer, is a full sibling to Chu and I, a multiple stakes winner at Emerald Downs as a 2-year-old in 2011. Much like his younger sister, Chu and I won his first two starts comfortably before stepping into a more difficult stakes assignment in start No. 3, which he lost by a neck. Chu and I has since fallen on hard times and is scheduled to start in Sunday’s fourth race, a $3,500 claimer.

The remaining five Shinpoch entrants can only hope Charismata and Chu and You hook up in a speed duel and leave the door ajar for a closer. There is very little early speed in the lineup, an unusual twist for a 2-year-old stakes race at Emerald Downs, and talented fillies such as Strawberry Dawn and Decatur Pass could find themselves at the mercy of the pace scenario. Strawberry Dawn finished second in the Angie C, a head in front of Decatur Princess, after breaking slowly, Decatur Princess closed with a rush and galloped past the winner not long after the finish.

Others in the field are See My Tail Lites, a distant fourth in the Angie C after pressing the pace; Reigning, a non-threatening fourth in an allowance race in her career debut; and likely longshot Simba’s Sis.