05/21/2001 11:00PM

'Jazzy' may be alone on the lead

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AUBURN, Wash. - A Jazzy Venture is the one to catch in Thursday's Emerald Downs feature, a 6 1/2-furlong race for $20,000 claiming mares that has drawn a field of six.

A Jazzy Venture, a 5-year-old daughter of Jazzing Around who is trained by Bill Thompson, won the Pierce County Stakes at 2 and the U.S. Bank Stakes at 3 for owners Al Adams and David Israel, but she has twice been claimed away. Each time Adams and Israel have claimed her back, most recently joining a third partner, Jack Garrison, and claiming her for a $16,000 tag on April 22.

Apparently glad to be back in familiar surroundings, A Jazzy Venture ran a bang-up race at six furlongs against $20,000 company on May 4. She dueled with the extremely fast Tough Sandy through fractions of 21.80 seconds and 44.20 and finished third, beaten a little over two lengths by Sister Adiba, who won in 1:09.80.

With Tough Sandy absent from Thursday's field, A Jazzy Venture figures to have a much easier time on the front end and should prove hard to beat under regular rider Vicky Aragon at 118 pounds.

A Jazzy Venture is not without a possible challenger for the lead, however. Jadeite Scepter, who ran last of six against $32,000 claimers in her Emerald debut after being claimed for a $10,000 tag at Santa Anita in her previous start, has shown good speed on occasion and may be able to contest Thursday's pace. If that is the case, the door could swing open for deep closers Dancing Goose and Girls Nite, who are both racing in sharp form.