08/16/2006 11:00PM

Rival fillies will seek cleaner trips in rematch

Email

AUBURN, Wash. - Sophie's Trophy and Chestnut Lady will have a rematch Saturday, when they head a field of six 3-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks at 1 1/8 miles.

In their first meeting, Sophie's Trophy prevailed by a neck over Chestnut Lady in the Irish Day Handicap on June 25, finishing one mile in 1:36.40. Both fillies had trouble in that race - Sophie's Trophy broke slowly and Chestnut Lady was blocked on the second turn - and handicappers must determine who was more disadvantaged.

In her next start, Sophie's Trophy suffered the first loss of her four-race career in the July 16 Emerald Downs Handicap at Hastings. A stretch-runner, she was caught behind a slow pace that day and could not catch Excited Miss, who won by four lengths and finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.40.

Chestnut Lady returned July 23 to win the 1 1/16-mile Kent Handicap by seven lengths over She's All Silk. Off that effort, Chestnut Lady figures to be a slight favorite Saturday, when she will be ridden by Kevin Radke.

She's All Silk figures to be the clear speed in the Washington Breeders' Cup Oak. She's All Silk posted two wire-to-wire wins last year at 2, defeating $40,000 maidens at 5 1/2 furlongs and allowance rivals at six furlongs. She also set the pace in the one-mile Barbara Shinpoch Stakes last year, before yielding late to Chestnut Lady and Carrie With a C. In four starts this year, She's All Silk has failed to break with her field. Most recently, in the Kent Handicap, she was bumped and had to rally to finish second, beaten seven lengths by Chestnut Lady. It will be up to rider Ricky Frazier to engineer a better start in the Oaks.

Also a threat is Soft Lite, who has been in razor-sharp form for trainer Bud Klokstad. Soft Lite has won her last three starts, two of which came in claiming races and one against allowance company. She has yet to race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, however, and it remains to be seen if she can get the nine furlongs of the Oaks.

White Center Belle and Too Cute to Boot complete the field.