05/12/2006 12:00AM

Karis Makaw set to rebound


AUBURN, Wash. - Karis Makaw, the champion older filly or mare at Emerald Downs in 2005, will try to rebound from a disappointing season debut when she faces eight challengers in Sunday's $40,000 Hastings Park Handicap at six furlongs.

A 5-year-old daughter of Charismatic, Karis Makaw will carry high weight of 119 pounds on the strength of a stellar 2005 campaign, in which she won 3 of 7 starts, including the King County Handicap at a mile and the Boeing Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Though her stakes successes have come in routes, Karis Makaw did win a six-furlong allowance race here as a 3-year-old, finishing in 1:08.60.

Karis Makaw prepped for Sunday's assignment with a fifth-place finish in a 5 1/2-furlong optional claiming race here April 22. Karis Makaw returned to post a pair of fast drills for trainer Bob Meeking, however, and could be set to move forward strongly in her second start back off a layoff. Leading rider Kevin Radke has the mount.

Karis Makaw will try to turn the tables on the four runners who outfinished her in the April 22 prep race. That race was won by 12-1 shot Kissntheboysgoodby, with Swingn' Notes second, Roanaway Bride third, and Marva Jean fourth. Marva Jean set the pace as the 2-1 favorite, but tired late to be beaten three lengths.

Also lining up to take on Karis Makaw is the Tim McCanna-trained duo of Queenledo and Gins Majesty. Queenledo was the top 3-year-old fillies on the grounds last year, when she won three local stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to a mile. Gins Majesty scored a one-length upset over Queenledo in last year's 1 1/16-mile Kent Handicap, but McCanna said he feels Gins Majesty needs more ground to show her best stuff.

"She is really going to be disadvantaged by the six-furlong distance," McCanna said. "She is doing well, but needs more ground. There won't be a route for her for two months, so it's either run in this race or stay in the barn."

A Classic Life and Queen Sarabi round out the field. A Classic Life won the one-mile Barbara Shinpoch Stakes here as a 2-year-old and returned to win the 1 1/8-mile Washington Oaks last year.

* Women attending the track on Sunday will receive entry blanks for the annual Mother's Day Drawing. The drawing will take place after the seventh race. Prizes include five Apple iPods and a trip to the Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop.