04/23/2009 12:00AM

Markle pair try to upset Ladyledue


AUBURN, Wash. - Mizzen You, a speedy maiden from California, and Crocodile Tuff, a late-running sprinter from New Mexico, have at least two things in common. They share the same trainer, Dan Markle, and they'll try to play spoiler Saturday in the six-furlong, $30,000 Inaugural Stakes at Emerald Downs.

The first stakes of the 91-day summer meeting has attracted a field of seven 3-year-old fillies, topped by the undefeated Ladyledue, a two-time stakes winner in 2008 and a probable odds-on favorite. But while Ladyledue has been idle since September, the would-be spoilers have the benefit of recent racing. Mizzen You made her career debut April 5 in a maiden race at Golden Gate Fields. Crocodile Tuff last raced Feb. 13 at Sunland Park in a first-level allowance.

After demonstrating sharp speed in her debut, Mizzen You could be a worthy adversary for Ladyledue, who won both of her 2008 races in front-running fashion. Owned by Frank Krysinski, Mizzen You faded to fourth in the maiden try at Golden Gate under jockey Chad Schvaneveldt after a prolonged duel with 2-5 favorite Kaweah Princess.

"Chad kind of had to gun her away from there," Markle said of Mizzen You, who broke from the inside post position. "She had the lead, he tapped her a couple of times on the shoulder, and the tank was empty. But I thought it was a pretty good effort because I didn't have her as cranked up as she should have been."

Ladyledue won her maiden in a stakes race last summer - the 6 1/2-furlong, $45,000 Knights Choice by eight lengths - so there's a precedent. And Mizzen You showed a lot of promise in 2008 without running a race. She outworked stable star Sweetheart Deal at least twice, Markle said, before the double-whammy of an illness and tender shins sent her to the sidelines.

Crocodile Tuff has the seasoning that Mizzen You lacks. A five-time starter in New Mexico, Crocodile Tuff was purchased privately by Sue and Tim Spooner after running second in a first-level allowance race at Sunland Park in early January. Crocodile Tuff ran one race for the Spooners at Sunland, again finishing second in allowance company, and then was sent north to Markle for a two-month freshening.

"We turned her out for a little while after the trip up here, and now she might be one work short of being fully prepared," Markle said.