09/24/2005 12:00AM

Galley Bay will have to work for win

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AUBURN, Wash. - Galley Bay will shoot for her third straight win and her fourth win in her last five starts in Monday's Emerald Downs feature, but her task won't be easy.

Galley Bay will carry 122 pounds and concede four pounds to each of her five rivals in the feature, a $20,000 claiming race for fillies and mares at a mile. Galley Bay will also go without her regular rider, Ben Russell, who has departed for California, and she will have very little speed to target.

Galley Bay won under Monday's conditions two races back on Aug. 21, when she came from four lengths back to catch Amanda Lynn at the wire. For her last race on Sept. 3, Galley Bay was able to stay closer to the pace when stretched out to 1 3/16 miles and defeated Stars on the Water by 1 1/2 lengths. Galley Bay may have to employ similar tactics Monday with a slow pace expected. Juan Gutierrez will ride.

Galley Bay figures to get her sternest challenge from the ultra-consistent Bless My Soles, a winner of seven races who has finished in the top three in 17 of her 23 career starts. Bless My Soles, a 6-year-old trained by Sharon Ross, defeated $15,000 rivals at a mile Aug. 13, then ran third, beaten a length, by Miz Mitzie when going six furlongs against $20,000 claimers in her last start Sept. 4.

Also dangerous is Luke's Finest, who has fair speed and may go unpressured on the lead.