05/09/2006 11:00PM

Imagunna takes the next step


AUBURN, Wash. - Imagunna will be tested for class Friday at Emerald Downs in a 5 1/2-furlong first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

Imagunna, trained by Jim Penney, made a spectacular racing debut at Emerald on opening day, defeating $25,000 maidens by almost 13 lengths and running the five furlongs in 56.60 seconds. Imagunna earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 81, which towers over the Beyers earned by her rivals in Friday's race. She also had a useful maintenance drill on Sunday, breezing five furlongs in 1:02.60, and might be poised to move forward in her second career start.

Imagunna benefited from an easy lead in her maiden win, however, and Volare Princess seems likely to challenge her early on Friday. Volare Princess won 2 of her 6 starts last season, and was responsible for the early fractions in five of her starts. Volare Princess, trained by Roy Lumm, will be making her 3-year-old debut after blowing out three furlongs in a sparkling 34.20 on Tuesday.

Coffeeinparis and Jo's Gold Basket are dropping from stakes races. Coffeeinparis was unplaced in the Cactus Cup Handicap at Turf Paradise and in Emerald's U. S. Bank Stakes in her last two starts, but she was stakes-placed as a 2-year-old at Turf Paradise last year. Jo's Gold Basket had two fourths and a fifth in stakes at this track at 2, but she was badly beaten by stakes runners at Zia Park when last seen in October.