06/07/2001 11:00PM

Klokstad entry one to beat


AUBURN, Wash. - A bulky field of 11 juvenile fillies, including a stable coupling, will square off in Sunday's $35,000 Pierce County Stakes, a five-furlong race at Emerald Downs.

The Pierce County is the first stakes for 2-year-olds at the Emerald meeting and is a predictably wide-open affair, but the Bud Klokstad-trained coupling is a logical place for handicappers to begin their hunt for the winner. Klokstad is the track's leading stakes trainer with 25 added-money wins, and much of his success has come with juveniles. The North Dakotan has saddled a record six Gottstein Futurity winners, including last year's winner, Jumron Won.

In the Pierce County, Klokstad will saddle Take Issue, a maiden winner on the $40,000 level in her only start on May 12, and Perfect Plan, who will be making her first start on Sunday. Take Issue, a daughter of High Brite, was a $26,000 yearling purchase and is owned by Klokstad's wife, Billie, in partnership with Ruth Walby.

Perfect Plan is a homebred who races solely for Billie Klokstad. Perfect Plan, a Game Plan miss, is a half-sister to Personal Decision, a stakes winner for the Klokstads in northern California last year as a juvenile.

Other winners in the Pierce County are Beautiful Swan, World Of Reason, Family Page, and Heart Ridge. The first three collected their maiden wins on the $16,000 level, while Heart Ridge defeated $8,000 maidens.

Other well-bred first-time starters are Artic Mist, Barknight, Lacrystal Classic, and Music to My Heart. Only Stinger is stuck in post 11 and figures to be the longest price on the board.