09/13/2006 11:00PM

Gold Deville has already beaten most


AUBURN, Wash. - Gold Deville looms as the one to beat in Saturday's top race at Emerald Downs, a $10,000 starter handicap at 1 1/16 miles that has drawn a field of seven fillies and mares.

The 4-year-old Gold Deville, trained by Pat Mullens, is coming off a hard-earned victory over Star Amethyst in a one-mile race for $25,000 claimers on Sept. 2. It was Gold Deville's second win from nine starts this year. She also defeated $25,000 optional claiming company going 6 1/2 furlongs here in July.

Neither Star Amethyst nor third-place finisher Amanda Lynn was entered back from Gold Deville's last race, but four of the also-rans from that race will try the likely favorite again on Saturday. Fourth-place finisher K D Implosion, fifth-place Stars on the Water, sixth-place Galley Bay, and seventh-place Last Thoughts will all go again, but they were beaten between six and 11 1/4 lengths by Gold Deville last time and will need sharp improvement to threaten.

Berry Viva is coming off an impressive win on Sept. 2 and may pose the most serious threat to Gold Deville. Berry Viva crushed $10,000 rivals by nine lengths with a mile in 1:37.20, which was one second slower than Gold Deville ran the same distance later on the card.

La Patriotte, who finished a creditable fourth going 1 3/16 miles in a $10,000 starter handicap race last time out on Aug. 3, completes the field.