08/05/2009 11:00PM

Knight Raider gets acid test in Angie C


AUBURN, Wash. - After a convincing victory against lesser opponents, Knight Raider faces her first stern test Saturday at Emerald Downs in the $50,000 Angie C, the season's first open stakes race for juvenile fillies. The six-furlong Angie C is the ninth race on a 10-race card that begins at 2 p.m.

Knight Raider dominated the restricted Knights Choice Stakes in her most recent outing July 12, drawing away to win by 13 lengths after setting a breakneck pace. After zipping through fractions of 21.40 and 44.20, she completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.20 and earned a 71 Beyer Speed Figure. But Knight Raider beat a dubious field, and none of her seven rivals were entered in the Angie C. Instead, Knight Raider will face a handful of promising fillies that weren't eligible for the Knights Choice, along with Sheyenne Girl, an undefeated stakes winner from the Canadian prairies.

Knight Raider won a $12,500 maiden claimer by 10 3/4 lengths in her second start, running 4 1/2 furlongs in 51 seconds. She then rolled in the Knights Choice under Emerald's leading jockey, Ricky Frazier, who has the call again Saturday. Knight Raider may be a step quicker than her rivals, though the Angie C attracted a raft of front-runners, including three fillies who have never been headed.

Sheyenne Girl is one of them. A $30,000 Keeneland yearling, she won the six-furlong Princess Margaret Stakes at Northlands Park in her last start. Everything fell into place for Sheyenne Girl, who had an inside post on the bullring and was able to set a soft pace before pulling away late to win by 8 3/4 lengths. Ridden by Seth Martinez on Saturday, she'll have to hustle to keep up with Knight Raider.

Sweet Nellie Brown, who won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race by 17 1/4 lengths in her debut June 13, figures to attract support in the wagering. Trained by Jim Penney, Sweet Nellie Brown was a distant second behind Forener, Emerald's leading 2-year-old male, in an allowance race July 19. Unhurried at the start, Sweet Nellie Brown made a menacing move on the turn to threaten Forener before yielding in the final furlong. She should be prominent throughout under Jose Zunino.

Other top contenders include recent maiden winners Sis' Sis, Terrific Tiffany, Touch of Elegance, and Jen's Guinness R N. Rewritten, who closed furiously to finish a head behind Terrific Tiffany in a fast race at 5 1/2 furlongs, could be a factor if the speed horses back up. Bou's Shadow and Eloika Lake complete the field.