04/15/2005 12:00AM

Invader looks tough to beat


AUBURN, Wash. - Southern California invader Kelly's Princess is the one to beat in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies running in Sunday's $40,000 U. S. Bank Stakes at six furlongs.

Kelly's Princess, a daughter of Western Fame from the barn of trainer Adam Kitchingman, was scheduled to arrive at Emerald Downs Friday afternoon by van from Santa Anita, where she won her last start, against $50,000 claimers, on March 24.

Kelly's Princess led throughout under jockey Joey Steiner, winning by a neck after 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.75.

The recent win brought Kelly's Princess's record to 3 wins from 9 starts for $118,391 in earnings. She scored her maiden win going two furlongs at Santa Anita last May, and she won a 5 1/2-furlong stakes last July at Solano by more than seven lengths.

Gary Baze, Washington's winningest rider of all-time, will sub for the injured Steiner on Sunday.

Kelly's Princess could find her stiffest opposition coming from Queenledo and M K Beck, both stakes winners here last season at 2.

Queenledo, trained by Tim McCanna, won the Knights Choice Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs and finished second in both the six-furlong Angie C. and the six-furlong Diane Kem. She will be making her 2005 debut under last year's leading rider, Ricky Frazier.

M K Beck edged Queenledo by a neck in last year's Diane Kem, coming from well back to score in 1:10. M K Beck, a daughter of Moon Up T.C. who is now trained by Jose Navarro, re-emerged earlier this year at Santa Anita and raced three times in $80,000 optional claiming company, her best finish being a third at six furlongs. Nate Chaves will take over the mount.

Also dangerous is Debbie's Assault, a well-bred daughter of Belong to Me trained by Bob McMeans. Debbie's Assault raced only twice last year and graduated in her second start, defeating maiden special weight rivals by three-quarters of a length. Mick Ruis has the mount.

Oppenheimer joins commission

Governor Christine Gregoire has appointed Deanna Oppenheimer to replace Ralph Vacca, who was not reappointed, on the Washington Horse Racing Commission.

Oppenheimer was an executive at Washington Mutual Bank for 20 years before founding her own financial consulting company this year.

Oppenheimer joins Dr. Bud Hallowell, Judi Roland, Hartly Kruger, and chairman Gary Christenson on the commission.

Also, Dr. Dan Dahl has resigned as state veterinarian at Emerald Downs to take a position with the Washington Department of Agriculture.