07/15/2008 11:00PM

'Jasmine' puts speed to the test


AUBURN, Wash. - The accent will be on speed in Friday's Emerald Downs feature as eight front-running 3-year-old fillies try for a second win while racing 5 1/2 furlongs for an $18,000 to $20,000 claiming price.

All eight of the contestants collected their maiden wins from within a length of the lead, and four led at every call.

Jasmine's Melody appears to be quickest of the quick, and if the adage holds that speed doesn't catch speed, she may never be headed. Jasmine's Melody, a daughter of Artax from the barn of trainer Aubrey Villyard, graduated as a 2-year-old against maiden special weight company in wire-to-wire fashion. This year, she is winless in three starts, but she finished third after contesting the pace in the six-furlong U.S. Bank Stakes and she is coming off a third-place finish against allowance rivals. Jasmine's Melody will be racing for a claiming price for the first time in her seven-race career Friday, when she will be ridden by Ricky Frazier at 117 pounds.

Tenakee Tango might be effective from slightly off the pace. Though she graduated on the engine against $17,500 maidens on June 1, she hinted at more versatility in her first try against $20,000 winners on June 27. In that race, Tenakee Tango stalked the pace from two lengths back and moved to take command in the upper stretch before being outfinished. Trainer Larry Wolf has named Gallyn Mitchell to ride.