10/05/2005 11:00PM

'Midnight' most proven in feature


AUBURN, Wash. - A field of eight evenly matched 3-year-old fillies, including four recent winners, will pose a stern test for handicappers in Saturday's Emerald Downs feature. All eight entrants in the six-furlong feature will race for a claiming tag of $15,000.

Annie Oakleaf, Lucky Style, and Nine to Midnight are all coming off front-running sprint wins over $15,000 company, but Nine to Midnight might be preferred because she defeated older rivals. In fact, Nine to Midnight was the only 3-year-old in a field of seven on Sept. 25, when she prevailed by 1 3/4 lengths over eight-time winner Its Tuesday in 1:03.20 for 5 1/2 furlongs. That was the Emerald Downs debut for Nine to Midnight, who graduated against maiden special weight company in July at Hastings Park. Trainer Grant Forster has again named Leslie Mawing to ride.

Annie Oakleaf and Lucky Style each beat 3-year-old fillies in her most recent start, with Annie Oakleaf prevailing by nearly four lengths after six furlongs in 1:10 on Sept. 4 and Lucky Style

winning by 1 1/4 lengths after 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.60 on Sept. 19. Annie Oakleaf, who is trained by Bonnie Jennie, set sizzling fractions of 21.40 and 44.40 en route to her victory and appears to the be speed of the speed on Saturday.

Top Bet is also coming off a win, having defeated Lucky Style and other $10,000 fillies with six furlongs in 1:10.80 on Aug. 14.