06/01/2011 3:10PM

Emerald Downs: Mirror Pond tries again at two turns

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AUBURN, Wash. – Mirror Pond and Chilecito headline the feature race Friday at Emerald Downs, a $10,000 claimer for fillies and mares at one mile. The eight-race card begins at 6 p.m. Pacific, kicking off a relatively quiet weekend at the suburban Seattle track. Emerald’s next stakes race, the Washington State Legislators, is set for June 12, a week from Sunday.

Diane Garrison, who owns and trains Mirror Pond, once had stakes aspirations for her 7-year-old mare, but after two unsuccessful attempts in added-money events in 2008, Mirror Pond found her comfort level in the claiming ranks. She has won four times in 28 starts, taking a maiden special in 2008, a $17,500 claimer in 2009, and a pair of $10,000 claiming sprints last summer, all at Emerald Downs.

Mirror Pond has yet to win around two turns, losing each of her five starts, though her pedigree suggests a mile is well within her scope. She’s by Wavering Monarch, a deceased son of Majestic Light and the grandsire of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. Mirror Pond’s dam is by His Majesty, and each of Mirror Pond’s two winning siblings has multiple victories at route distances. Mirror Pond has started twice in 2011, most recently in a first-level optional claimer at six furlongs on May 21, and would seem to have the needed fitness to complement her tactical speed as she dips back to the claiming level that yielded her victories in 2010. She’ll break from the No. 1 post position under Leslie Mawing, who began the week with a 32-26 lead over Juan Gutierrez and Joe Crispin in the jockey standings.

Chilecito began her career in December 2009, chasing some of the West Coast’s top 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park. She has two lifetime victories, both at Hastings in Vancouver, British Columbia. Trained by Joe Toye for owner Joe Crawford, Chilecito spent the winter at Turf Paradise, where she finished a close second in a one-mile allowance race on the turf, her best effort in three starts. Gutierrez will ride Chilecito for the first time Friday.

Feels Like Rain is the other leading contender in the six-horse field. Trained by Doris Harwood for her husband, Jeff, Feels Like Rain has won 6 of 15 starts and is 2 for 3 at Friday’s distance. Harwood has won with 29 percent of her route starters since the beginning of the 2010 Emerald meeting. Gallyn Mitchell has the riding assignment.