09/27/2007 11:00PM

Owners' Handicap tops closing day

EmailAUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs will pay tribute to claiming horses on Sunday's closing-day card with the Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge, which comprises six starter allowance races with enhanced purses.

A scheduled seventh race in the claiming challenge, the Cocktails Anyone for fillies and mares, failed to fill when only four horses were entered for a shot at the $20,000 purse.

The claimers figure to be upstaged by the Owners' Handicap, however. The Owners' Handicap, a five-furlong race in which owners or trainers determine the weights their horses will carry when they name a rider, has drawn five of the fastest horses on the grounds to vie for a purse of $22,300.

Trainer Howard Belvoir entered Courting Seattle and Immigration, both stakes winners here last season. Immigration will get Belvoir's main rider, Jennifer Whitaker, who can tack 108 pounds, while Courting Seattle is slated to carry Kevin Radke at 114 pounds.

The Belvoir duo figures to challenge Chickasaw Park, who rates as the one to beat after winning the six-furlong Chinook Pass on Washington Cup Day in a sizzling 1:07.60. It was the third win at the stand for Chickasaw Park, who is trained by Pat Mullens and will be ridden by Macario Rodriguez at 114 pounds.

Rounding out the field are Call Columbo, who will be ridden by Ricky Frazier at 120 pounds, and Coastal King, who will carry Leslie Mawing at 114 pounds.

The claiming challenge will be headlined by the $20,000 Colterkind, a starter handicap that has drawn a field of nine older horses to vie at a mile.

Skyrider will carry high weight of 122 pounds, including jockey Ricky Frazier, after winning his last two route races on the $15,000 and $22,500 levels. Skyrider, who is trained by Richard Wright, is coming off a fifth-place effort in a six-furlong sprint for $25,000 claimers on Sept. 2.

Next in line in the weights are Flaming Bullet, a three-time winner at the stand, at 121 pounds, and Natural Touch, who is coming off a mile win over $15,000 claimers, at 120. Cowboy Cruisser, who will carry 118 pounds, figures as the one to catch.

* Leading rider Frazier broke the Emerald Downs record for wins at a meeting with panache on Thursday, winning with all five of his mounts to push his season total to 151 wins. The old mark of 148 wins was set by Vann Belvoir at the inaugural 1996 meeting.