08/08/2002 12:00AM

Lasting Light re-ignited


AUBURN, Wash. - Lasting Light will attempt to take another step on the comeback trail in Saturday's best race at Emerald Downs, a one-mile allowance with a field of five accomplished fillies and mares.

Lasting Light, a 4-year-old who races for the partnership of Lola McCarthy and Ole Nielsen, was a sensation at Hastings Park as a 2-year-old, registering impressive wins over maiden special weight company and stakes runners in her first two starts. She took on males third time out in the rich Ascot Graduation Stakes at Hastings, but suffered an injury while running fourth of 11 and missed her entire 3-year-old season.

Returning this year at Emerald on the $50,000 optional claiming level, Lasting Light required only one start to shake off the rust, finishing third at six furlongs, before resuming her winning ways in a 6 1/2-furlong triumph in a rapid 1:15.60 on July 13. If she is able to build on that victory Saturday, Lasting Light could well return to the stakes ranks in her next start. Chris Loseth, who rode Lasting Light in her juvenile campaign, will travel down from Vancouver to accept the call from trainer Jim Penney at 122 pounds.

Lasting Light's chief rivals appear to be Neon Queen, who won the Hastings Park Handicap in May, and Whatdidshesay, who is coming off an authoritative one-mile allowance win in July. Rounding out the compact field are Aunt Sophie, a stakes winner here last season at 3, and the 5-year-old Icicle Angel, who has posted three seconds while racing with optional claiming company at this stand.

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