08/05/2002 11:00PM

Races for 2-year-olds in spotlight

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AUBURN, Wash. - Youth will be served at Emerald Downs on Thursday when four of the eight races on the card, including the feature, are for 2-year-olds.

The feature, which goes as the seventh race, will see a field of five juvenile fillies, each eligible to be claimed for $25,000 or $20,000, run over 5 1/2 furlongs.

The main battle appears to be between the Bud Klokstad-trained duo of Rockenelle, who is coming off a 2 1/2-length victory over $12,500 maidens, and Tease N' Delete, who scored a 7 3/4-length win over $16,000 maidens in her last out on July 3. Both fillies earned Beyer Speed Figures of 51 while racing 5 1/2 furlongs, but leading rider Kevin Radke decided to ride Tease N' Delete, and he rode both to their maiden wins. Ricky Frazier takes over the mount on Rockenelle.

A case can be made for all of the entrants, however. Burningtobefirst is the only undefeated member of the field, having won her debut over $12,500 maidens May 31. Scarlet Tempest has improved steadily through four starts and is coming off a sharp win over maiden $16,000 company at five furlongs.

And Pleas Deal comes off a close third against $16,000-$14,000 male winners on July 25.

The other three juvenile races Thursday have deep fields. The first race drew a field of 14 $8,000 maidens to run 4 1/2 furlongs, the third race drew 11 maiden $12,500 fillies to race at 5 1/2 furlongs, and the sixth attracted a field of nine fillies going six furlongs under maiden special weight conditions.