01/18/2003 1:00AM

Familiar cast facing 'Slewzy'


PORTLAND, Ore. - Wegota Slewzy will be looking to duplicate her victory of two weeks ago when she takes on several of the same rivals at the same six-furlong distance in Monday's Martin Luther King Day feature, an allowance race for older fillies and mares that has drawn a field of six.

Wegota Slewzy led throughout in her last outing, on Jan. 4, prevailing by a length in 1:12.62 for her sixth career win from 20 starts. Among those she defeated that day were Dancing Eyes, Spirit One, and X Slews Me, all of whom will return for another shot at Wegota Slewzy, the likely favorite on Monday.

A newcomer to the field, Emoswa Gold, might interfere with Wegota Slewzy's pacesetting preferences. Emoswa Gold has held the early advantage in seven of her last eight outings, including three wins and another first-place finish from which she was disqualified. Emoswa Gold came from slightly off the pace last time out on Dec. 5, however, and she responded to the rating tactics with a neck win over allowance rivals in 1:12.03 for six furlongs. She seems likely to be asked to stalk again on Monday, since both Emoswa Gold and Wegota Slewzy, who will race uncoupled, are trained by Jim Fergason. He seems sure to instruct his riders - Ron Keckler aboard Emoswa Gold and Clark Jones on Wegota Slewzy - to avoid an exhausting pace duel.

Dancing Eyes finished with a bold rush when second to Wegota Slewzy on Jan. 4 and would seem the most likely beneficiary if the pace is faster or more fiercely contested than expected. Leading rider Juan Gutierrez has the mount aboard Dancing Eyes, who was an allowance winner at 1 1/16 miles in her prior start on Dec. 15.