04/24/2008 11:00PM

Mare sticks with proven pattern

Email

AUBURN, Wash. - Kissntheboysgoodby will take on six rivals in Sunday's Emerald Downs feature, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance that is designed as a prep for the $50,000 Hastings Park Handicap on May 18.

Kissntheboysgoodby, a 6-year-old mare, won similar preps in each of the last two years. In 2006, she followed her 5 1/2-furlong win with a victory in the six-furlong Hastings Park, and last year she returned to run second in the Hastings Park and third in the 6o1/2-furlong Washington State Legislators Handicap in June before being sidelined for the remainder of the year.

Kissntheboysgoodby will be making her first start in more than 10 months, but trainer Charlie Essex said she seems to be training as well as ever.

"She went a half-mile in 47.40 last Sunday, and I thought she did it very nicely," Essex said. "I think she is coming into this race really well, and I'm hoping she will come out of it even better."

She's All Silk ran second to Kissntheboysgoodby in last season's prep for the Hastings Park, and again looms as a formidable foe. She's All Silk, a front-running 5-year-old, faltered over a sloppy track in last year's Hastings Park, but came back to win the Washington State Legislators in gate-to-wire fashion before placing in three other stakes.

Firetrail, Hit a Star, Judicature, Shampoo, and Golden Pines complete a field in which all seven runners are stakes winners.