06/11/2009 11:00PM

Ladyledue chases a record streak


AUBURN, Wash. - The undefeated Ladyledue stands tall in the 3-year-old filly division at Emerald Downs, and she can stand alone in the track's record book with a victory Sunday in the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap. No local horse has started its career with five consecutive stakes victories; Ladyledue can become the first, provided the front-running daughter of Slewdledo can successfully carry her speed a mile in her first try around two turns.

The Irish Day, the seventh race on a 10-race program that begins at 2 p.m., attracted a field of nine. Most of the top contenders have finished behind Ladyledue at least once, if not twice. Her primary challenger might be Seeking Ema, who's still a maiden after six starts. Another contender, Shamus on Me, is 0 for 2 against Ladyledue, including a fourth-place finish in the six-furlong Inaugural Stakes in late April. It clearly is Ladyledue's race to lose, and she's likely to be a prohibitive betting favorite Sunday.

But can she get a mile? Trainer Bonnie Jenne said it shouldn't be a problem, provided jockey Ricky Frazier can conserve her energy in the early going. Top-weighted at 120 pounds, Ladyledue will break from the No. 1 post position and should have an easy run to the first turn.

"We've never had to push her to be on the front end, at all," Jenne said. "She's pretty sensible, so we'll see how much she'll relax. I think she will - I'll keep my fingers crossed that she does. And besides, her full brother was a route horse."

Jenne's reference was to I'madrifter, a colt who earned $291,212 in a 25-race career. I'madrifter was a four-time stakes winner at one mile, and his crowning achievement was a victory in the one-mile, Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate in 2003.

Seeking Ema is another well-bred runner who might flourish with the added distance. By Seeking the Gold, she's out of Ema Bovary, a sprint sensation who won two races at Emerald Downs in 2003 and capped her career in 2004 with a victory in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder. Juan Gutierrez will ride Seeking Ema for trainer Doris Harwood.

Shamus on Me has the field's top last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 77 earned when she defeated older horses on May 22.