05/09/2013 4:26PM

Emerald Downs: She's a Time Bomb tough to figure

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AUBURN, Wash. – A $12,500 claimer for older fillies and mares will serve as the feature race Saturday at Emerald Downs. The 5 1/2-furlong dash attracted a field of six and will go as the eighth of nine races on a card that begins at 2 p.m. Pacific.

Among the challenges facing handicappers as they pore over the feature, none is more vexing than the status of She’s a Time Bomb. Trained by Tim McCanna for John Lindley, She’s a Time Bomb is coming off a disappointing effort less than two weeks ago, when she never got involved as the heavy favorite in a $25,000 claimer restricted to nonwinners of two races.

She’s a Time Bomb came back to work four furlongs in 49.40 seconds on Derby Day and is likely to appreciate the class relief in her second start of the year. In her best effort to date, She’s a Time Bomb finished a close third after pressing a fast pace in a second-level optional claimer last June. But after a side trip to Santa Rosa, Calif., to try the grass, she regressed in two subsequent starts at Emerald Downs last summer, and then was laid off for seven months. David Lopez has the riding assignment on She’s a Time Bomb, who could be a short price again Saturday.

Jadey Baby looms the biggest threat should She’s a Time Bomb falter. While she has just one victory in 17 starts, Jadey Baby is coming off a career-best effort in her season debut, when she closed smartly to finish second for $12,500. If she can maintain that sharp edge for trainer Robbie Baze, Jadey Baby will be formidable. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 67 for her last start, the best recent speed figure in the field, and will be handled by Emerald’s leading rider, Juan Gutierrez.

The downside to Jadey Baby is simple: She has a maddening habit of finishing second rather than first. She’s been the runner-up in six of her 17 starts and may need to develop more of a killer instinct to get past She’s a Time Bomb and the rest.

Also in the field are Lil Sister Sadie, winner of an $8,000 maiden claimer in her last start, Forest Bunny, Bullys Blond Girl, and Eltoninadress. Forest Bunny, a gate-to-wire maiden winner last August, could help dictate the pace. Eltoninadress will be making her second start of the meeting after losing all of 2012 to injury.