07/30/2003 11:00PM

'Pride' goes for third win in row

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AUBURN, Wash. - Americas Pride will shoot for a third consecutive victory when she faces five other 2-year-old fillies in Saturday's $35,000 Knights Choice Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs at Emerald Downs.

Americas Pride, an Oregon-bred by the first-year sire Baquero, graduated from the maiden ranks here in her fourth start on June 21. In that race, she led past every pole to dispatch $16,000 company by 3 1/2 lengths in a swift 57.80 seconds for five furlongs.

Returning on July 10 to face $16,000 winners, she dueled for the lead throughout and held off the late charge of Fast Stitch Girl to prevail narrowly in 59 flat. Americas Pride was claimed out of that race by trainer Bill Thompson for owner David Israel, and will make her first start for her new connections. Leading jockey Kevin Radke will ride at 118 pounds.

Americas Pride may get her sternest test from The Known Q., a game winner over $25,000 maidens in her debut here on July 17. In that race, she registered a half-length victory over Winning Weave in 1:05.20 for 5 1/2 furlongs. The Known Q., a Son of Briartic filly from the barn of trainer Terry Gillihan, will again be ridden by Scott Saito at 118 pounds.

The field's other winner is Our Monstarr, who won her debut over $16,000 maidens in May and returned to finish a fast-closing fourth in the recent Angie C. Stakes at six furlongs.

Rounding out the field are the maidens Winning Weave, Bobbie Wagner, and Slew's Mystery.

The Knights Choice is part of the Northwest Stallion Stakes Series and is restricted to the progeny of stallions who were nominated in 2000, the year of their conception.