06/24/2011 12:21PM

Emerald Downs: Class Included will be hard to stop in Irish Day


AUBURN, Wash. – Class Included, easy winner of the Seattle Handicap in her last start, headlines a small field of 3-year-old fillies in the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap on Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Only four were entered to oppose the probable odds-on favorite, and only one, Elusive Noise, has the credentials to pull off an upset. The one-mile Irish Day is the seventh race on a 10-race program that also includes the Pepsi Cola Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings. First post is 2 p.m. Pacific.

Class Included has been touted as a stakes-caliber filly since she made her first last August. She finished second in her debut, and then beat winners in a first-level allowance in her second and final start of 2010. She opened 2011 for trainer Jim Penney with a narrow loss in an allowance sprint on May 7, and then made good on her press clippings in the Seattle Handicap. Well-situated behind a hot pace, Class Included moved readily to the front at the top of the stretch and won by three lengths after covering 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.68.

A homebred for Mike and Amy Feuerborn, Class Included is bred to run all day. She’s by Include, a son of Santa Anita Handicap winner Broad Brush. Her dam, A Classic Life, was a stakes winner at route distances, taking the Washington Oaks and three other Emerald Downs stakes for the Feuerborns. Tucked into to the inside post position, Class Included and jockey Leslie Mawing would seem to be ideally situated to triumph in her first start around two turns.

Elusive Noise, breaking from the outside, is the most likely candidate to set the pace. After winning her first two starts for trainer Tom Wenzel, she finished fourth, beaten six lengths by Class Included, in the Seattle Handicap after getting used up in a speed duel in which she ran the first half mile in 43.81 seconds. She’ll make her first start beyond 6 1/2 furlongs Sunday, but the distance shouldn’t be an issue. Her dam, Noisette, was a turf specialist who earned nearly $500,000 and won stakes at distances up to 1 3/16 miles. Regular rider Juan Gutierrez has the call.

Others in the field are Seventyprcentcocoa, who finished second in $40,000 starter allowances at Golden Gate in her last two starts; recent maiden winner Debbie’s Striker; and For You My Heart, who’s unbeaten in two starts and will make her first stakes appearance Sunday.