06/24/2009 11:00PM

Mirror Pond back to a sprint


AUBURN, Wash. - Mirror Pond looms the one beat Saturday in the feature race at Emerald Downs. A convincing winner the last time she raced around one turn, she tops a $17,500 claimer for fillies and mares who have never won three races. The six-furlong feature is the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 2 p.m.

Mirror Pond has won 2 of her 7 starts at Emerald Downs for owner/trainer Diane Garrison. She broke through with a maiden victory last June in her 10th career start, and won her second start at the current meeting, when she rallied strongly to overtake a faltering pacesetter in a $17,500 claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs. Mirror Pond earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 74 for her effort that day, the second-highest of her 18-race career. But she was mildly disappointing in her most recent outing, when she raced evenly to finish fourth in a one-mile, $15,000 claimer. She turns back to a sprint Saturday and retains jockey Juan Gutierrez, who was aboard for her latest victory.

Mirror Pond stands to benefit from the presence of three or four committed front-runners in the nine-horse field. Triple Tee, a lightly-raced 4-year-old trained by Howard Belvoir, scored a front-running victory for $25,000 in her 2009 debut in mid-April and pressed a fast pace in her most recent outing before tiring to finish third. Jennifer Whitaker is scheduled to ride Triple Tee, who is dropping a class level for Saturday's race.

A pair of 3-year-olds, Swiss S S T and Dawns a Breakin, also will help to ensure a rapid pace. Swiss S S T showed speed for a half-mile in her most recent race, a $25,000 optional claimer for 3-year-olds. She will have the services of leading rider Ricky Frazier for trainer Bonnie Jenne. Dawns a Breakin, who is trained by Robert Baze and will be ridden by apprentice Cassie Papineau, has finished in the money in her past six starts, including four at the current meeting. She most recently was third after taking a short lead in the stretch in a $17,500 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds.

This September is another who figures to go with the first flight. A 4-year-old trained by Dan Markle, she finished second to Mirror Pond when they last met May 17. After dueling for the lead, This September opened a three-length lead at the eighth pole but tired in the final strides. Jockey Gallyn Mitchell will try to turn the tables Saturday.