07/25/2003 12:00AM

McKenna Beach looks tough

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Eight 2-year-old Minnesota-breds will compete in Sunday's $35,000 Minnesota Juvenile Sprint Stakes at Canterbury Park, and while a number of the contestants offer real promise, McKenna Beach appears the runner the rest will be setting their sights on in the 5 1/2-furlong race.

McKenna Beach, trained by Wilson Brown, was entered in the first maiden race of the season for 2-year-olds and won with authority. Tried next against open company in the Canterbury Lassie Stakes two weeks ago, McKenna Beach finished second to Miss Outrageous while closing the gap late to be beaten by only two lengths. That performance, one of the best by a Minnesota-bred in the last few seasons, makes McKenna Beach the filly to beat in the Juvenile Sprint.

She is not without challengers. Spiced to Go, a full brother to a Minnesota Sprint champion, Crocrock, turned some heads with his 14-length victory over statebreds in his first career outing last month.