05/25/2009 11:00PM

Ex-stakes runners now fit in claimer


AUBURN, Wash. - Stakes winners Malia Sofia and She's All Silk are the top attractions in Thursday's feature race at Emerald Downs, a $20,000 claimer for fillies and mares at six furlongs. The first Thursday card of the meeting begins at 6 p.m., and the feature is the seventh race.

Malia Sofia, a 4-year-old owned by Dan Agnew and trained by Mike Chambers, won the six-furlong Sun Devil Stakes at Turf Paradise last October. She's All Silk raced to victories in the Washington Oaks and the John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes at Emerald Downs in 2006, when she was honored as the meeting's top 3-year-old filly. Pat Mullens trains She's All Silk for owner Ed Zenker.

Both Malia Sofia and She's All Silk have fallen on hard times since their stakes victories. Malia Sofia failed to finish in the money in five subsequent starts in Arizona and Southern California, and she trailed throughout in her most recent start, which came at Turf Paradise in early April. Seth Martinez, who was aboard for two of Malia Sofia's three victories, has the call in Thursday's feature.

She's All Silk hasn't hit the board since September 2007, when she was third in the Belle Roberts at Emerald Downs in her final start of the year. She was winless in seven starts in 2008 and is 0 for 2 at the current meeting while facing tougher. In her most recent race, she was close up for a half-mile before fading to last in the Hastings Park Handicap. She'll run for a claiming price for the first time Thursday. Emerald Downs's leading jockey Ricky Frazier was named to ride.

The rest of the field includes Sun City, who won three races during a winter campaign at Turf Paradise; Libby Creek, who was a fast-closing third in a $25,000 claiming race in her most recent start; Nina Win, a seven-time winner who is jumping up a couple of class levels for Thursday's race; and Full Court Press, who earned the field's top last-race Beyer Speed Figure when she finished second by a nose in a $12,500 claimer on May 15.

Racing continues through the weekend as Emerald Downs moves into the heart of its summer schedule. Sunday's feature race is the $50,000 Pepsi-Cola Handicap for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. Noosa Beach, the winner of the six-furlong Auburn Stakes in his first 2009 start, leads the list of nominees.