05/17/2007 11:00PM

Kissntheboysgoodby defends crown


AUBURN, Wash. - Kissntheboysgoodby will have eight rivals when she attempts to defend her crown in Sunday's $45,000 Hastings Park Handicap, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Kissntheboysgoodby, a 5-year-old daughter of Tropic Lightning from the barn of trainer Charles Essex, earned her stakes brackets at 5-1 in last year's Hastings Park. She figures to be a much shorter price on Sunday, when she will be shooting for her third straight win and her eighth victory from 16 career starts.

Kissntheboysgoodby ended a three-race campaign last winter at Turf Paradise with a neck victory in the Ocean Bay Stakes, which was conducted at a mile on turf. In her first try at the current Emerald meet, she defeated $50,000 optional claiming company by more than two lengths with 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.60. She will meet many of the rivals who chased her home that day on Sunday, when she will be ridden by Kate Repp at 120 pounds.

She's All Silk, who ran second to Kissntheboysgoodby in the optional-claiming prep, may again offer the sternest opposition to the probable favorite. She's All Silk, a double stakes winner here last season at 3, set fast fractions before being overtaken by Kissntheboysgoodby in the deep stretch, then drifted out to clip the winner's heels. Despite the mishap, she easily held second in what was her first appearance of the year and emerged from the race none the worse for wear, according to trainer Pat Mullens.

"She's fine," said Mullens. "I think she just got a little tired in that race, but she should be tighter for this one. She is a very quick filly and I think she'll make them work to catch her."

Two Canadians will add spice to the Hastings Park field. Sophie's Trophy won last year's 6 1/2-furlong Langley Handicap at Hastings before shipping here to win the one-mile Irish Day Handicap. Sophie's Trophy has been stabled here this spring and will be making her seasonal bow on Sunday.

Langara Lass also shipped to Emerald last season and ran third to Sophie's Trophy in the Irish Day. She subsequently won the $100,000 Sonoma Handicap at Northlands in August. Langara Lass prepped for Sunday's race in the 6 1/2-furlong Brighouse Bells Handicap at Hastings on May 6, finishing fourth.