Updated on 09/16/2011 8:30AM

Lasting Code is formidable

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AUBURN, Wash. - Seven intrepid 3-year-old fillies have come forward to challenge Lasting Code in Sunday's one mile, $45,000 Kent Handicap at Emerald Downs.

Lasting Code, who was recently purchased privately by Jerre Paxton's Northwest Farms, will surely go off as an odds-on favorite because of her record of four stakes wins from five starts. Her lone defeat came in her only attempt around two turns, however, and it is the distance question that she must answer in the Kent.

But the answer isn't much in doubt. Lasting Code was beaten only a head by Ashbecca in last September's one-mile Barbara Shinpoch Stakes, which was her first start at Emerald Downs. She appeared to have the race won but lost focus in deep stretch and was nipped at the wire, then came on again when it was too late.

Ashbecca is back to prove that last year's Shinpoch win was no fluke, and she probably has the best chance to upset the favorite. Ashbecca, a Sandpit filly who races for Dr. Rodney Orr, is coming off a useful fifth-place finish behind Lasting Code in the Federal Way Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs, a distance that is far short of her best.

Another possible upsetter is the lightly-raced Miss Ballard, an impressive 4 1/4-length winner in her 5 1/2 furlong debut here in April.

Miss Ballard came back in the May 12 Federal Way, but lost all chance when she went to knees at the start and got away well behind her field.

Miss Ballard is a long-striding daughter of Bertrando who races for Herman Sarkowsky, and she figures to be at her best over a distance of ground.

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