08/18/2011 4:32PM

Emerald Downs: Feeling Fancy too sharp to overlook in sprint feature

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AUBURN, Wash. -- Feeling Fancy, with 5 wins in 8 local starts, headlines the feature race Saturday at Emerald Downs. A $21,000, non-conditions allowance for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs, it’s the seventh race on an eight-race program beginning at 2 p.m. Pacific.

Feeling Fancy captured the 2010 Federal Way Handicap for trainer Frank Lucarelli last May, and while she has made just three starts this year, the most recent one, July 4, was her best to date. Confidently ridden by Leslie Mawing, Feeling Fancy shot through an opening along the rail in midstretch to win a first-level optional $50,000 claimer going away. Mawing and Feeling Fancy, a 4-year-old Sky Mesa filly, will break from the inside post in a five-horse field. A pair of shippers from Hastings – one a speedy front-runner, the other a deep closer – will challenge the probable favorite. The speedy Late Affair is working on a three-race winning streak while climbing past several rungs on the class ladder. She won a $5,000 maiden claimer in April, a $7,500 claimer for nonwinners of three in May, and an open $25,000 claimer on June 12. She faces a tall task Saturday, however, switching from the bullring at Hastings to the one-mile oval at Emerald for her first start following a 10-week layoff. Pedro Terrero will ride for trainer Mike Puhich.

The other visitor from Hastings, Daymaker, has finished second in three consecutive starts. Most recently, she rallied to miss by less than a length behind Dashing Daisy in a $25,000 claiming sprint, an effort that was flattered when Dashing Daisy won a stakes races in her next start. Daymaker is trained by Dino Condilenios, who will saddle Crew Leader in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile on Sunday.

Dream Sweeper, a late-running sprinter, could make an impact if the pace is sufficiently fast to set up her closing kick. She rallied strongly to take a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race in her first start of the year, and was third after a troubled trip in the 6 1/2-furlong Washington State Legislators Handicap on June 12.

◗ Later Saturday, trainer Tim McCanna will be inducted into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame during an awards banquet following the races. McCanna, who has won 10 Emerald training titles in the track’s 15-plus seasons, is the first Hall of Fame member to be recognized primarily for his work at Emerald Downs. Joining McCanna in the 2011 Hall of Fame class: jockey Vicky Baze, breeders Grousemont Farm, and the horses Firesweeper and Pataha Prince.