04/28/2009 11:00PM

Same-day winners facing off


AUBURN, Wash. - Already winners at the meeting, Dawnterri and Bombay Beau are leading contenders Friday in the feature race at Emerald Downs. The track begins its third weekend of racing with an eight-race card beginning at 6 p.m. The feature will go as the seventh race.

In addition to the live card and full simulcast-racing menu, advance wagering on the Kentucky Derby will be available Friday when Emerald Downs opens for business at 7:30 a.m.

Six horses are signed up for the feature, a one-mile starter allowance for fillies and mares who have started for a claiming price of $4,000 or less in 2008-09. It's a highly competitive field: The six have combined to win 48 of their 145 career starts.

Dawnterri and Bombay Beau posted victories on April 19, the first Sunday of the meeting. Dawnterri won a $7,500 claimer in front-running fashion, zipping 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.80. Bombay Beau captured a $4,000 starter allowance from just off the pace in 1:04.00. They will try to stretch out around two turns Friday, only the second route race of Dawnterri's career. Bombay Beau is a proven miler, winning twice in five starts at the distance.

Trainer Blaine Wright will saddle Dawnterri, who will be ridden by Emerald Downs newcomer Saul Arias. Bombay Beau is trained by Howard Belvoir, who sits atop the trainer standings with 10 wins through the season's first six days. Juan Gutierrez will ride Bombay Beau.

The field also includes Last Thoughts, an 11-time winner going a mile; Include the Music, who has won four times at the distance; Ax Me a Question, a winner going six furlongs at Golden Gate Fields in her most recent start; and My Sweet Louise, a talented 6-year-old mare who won 5 of her 10 starts at Emerald Downs last summer.

Dawnterri drew the rail and seems like the logical front-runner. Last Thoughts also prefers to make the running, and Bombay Beau likes to be close up early. With so much speed in the field, the race could set up for My Sweet Louise and jockey Gallyn Mitchell. My Sweet Louise hasn't run since October but has been training well. Mitchell was aboard for all five of her wins last summer, including three at Friday's distance.

The only stakes race at Emerald Downs this weekend is the $30,000 Seattle Handicap for older horses on Sunday. Wasserman, the 2008 Longacres Mile winner, will try to regain his winning form after failing to hit the board in his season debut on opening night, April 17.