06/03/2004 12:00AM

Lasting Code has fewer to fend off


AUBURN, Wash. - Lasting Code, who defeated 10 rivals in her commanding victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Hastings Park Handicap on May 9, will face a much smaller cast of challengers in Sunday's Washington State Legislators Handicap at the same distance.

As of Thursday morning, only five fillies and mares were listed as confirmed starters for Sunday's stakes. Besides Lasting Code, the list includes Aunt Sophie and Marva Jean, who finished second and third in the Hastings Park; Neon Queen, who is coming off a second to Ruby Dawn in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance; and Cascade Corona, who will be making her seasonal debut.

Three others, Princess Forever, Pic Em Hof, and Thekingsqueen, were nominated for the Washington State Legislators but have not yet been committed to run.

Lasting Code, who will carry high weight of 119 pounds, will be seeking her sixth Emerald Downs stakes win and her eighth win in 12 career starts. Lasting Code, a 5-year-old daughter of Lost Code who races for Jerre Paxton's Northwest Farms, returned from an absence of 20 months to win the Hastings Park Handicap by more than two lengths in just her second start back. She got the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15 under Gary Baze, who will again have the mount on Sunday.

Second on the list of weights is Aunt Sophie at 118 pounds. Aunt Sophie, who won two route stakes from four starts last year in northern California, was making her seasonal debut in the Hastings Park.

The other weight assignments are: Marva Jean (116 pounds), Neon Queen (116), Princess Forever (114), Cascade Corona (113), Pic Em Hof (111), and Thekingsqueen (110)