09/18/2003 12:00AM

Lumm filly a threat to wire field


AUBURN, Wash. - A competitive field of eight 3-year-old fillies, each eligible to be claimed for $20,000, will vie over six furlongs in Saturday's featured ninth race at Emerald Downs.

Dear Deputy appears the one to catch, and that might make her the one to beat as well. Dear Deputy, a daughter of Wild Deputy from the barn of Roy Lumm, has been formidable when she has been able to clear off early. She posted wire-to-wire wins over $16,000 and $20,000 company in two of her three victories at the meeting, and she came from just off the pace in posting her maiden win in her first start this year. Dear Deputy also led early in her last outing, against $25,000 company on Aug. 29, but tired to finish fourth at 6 1/2 furlongs. The cutback to six furlongs and the return of leading rider Kevin Radke, who was up for all three of her previous wins, should boost her chances.

Dashing Lady ran down Dear Deputy en route to what looked like a victory on Aug. 29, but she was caught near the wire by Tejati and had to settle for second. The consistent Dashing Lady, trained by Bonnie Jennie, hasn't finished worse than third in her last five outings and seems a solid fit under Saturday's conditions.

Also a threat is Plenty Easy, who won a 5 1/2-furlong sprint for $25,000 fillies earlier in the meeting. Plenty Easy is coming off a fourth against tough older allowance rivals at a mile Aug. 9 and should appreciate Saturday's class drop. She was entered and scratched from the Aug. 29 race won by Tejati, but has since worked strongly for trainer Rick Terry, who has named Juan Gutierrez to ride.