06/25/2003 11:00PM

One less speedster in lineup


AUBURN, Wash. - It's a week late and a horse short, but the one- mile, $50,000 King County Handicap for older fillies and mares will be run as rescheduled on Saturday at Emerald Downs.

Originally slated to be run last Sunday with a field of eight, the King County was one of five races called off after sudden rains rendered the racing surface unsafe.

Seven of the original entrants have been entered back, but trainer Andrew Collins elected not to make the trip again with his Hastings Park-based Lady's Jewel, one of three front-runners in the original field. Her absence could affect how the King County is run.

Now, Princess Forever and Silver Screen Girl are the only front-runners in the cast, and either would inherit a distinct advantage if the other was to break a step slowly. Princess Forever was passed only by the brilliant Ema Bovary when

second in the 6 1/2-furlong Washington State Legislators Stakes last time out on May 25, while Silver Screen Girl comes off a gate-to-wire victory over $50,000 optional claiming company at a mile on May 26.

Among the most prominent closers in the field are northern California shipper Watershed Park, who won a mile allowance race at Golden Gate in March, and Canadian invader Castle Mountain, who comes off a strong second in the 1 1/16-mile Sun Handicap at Hastings Park.

Also dangerous is the entry of Strikes No Spares and Untamed Passion. Both 4-year-olds will be looking for their first stakes win, but Strikes No Spares was stakes-placed three times last year at Chicago area tracks.