06/07/2005 11:00PM

'Sarah' fits well at this class level


AUBURN, Wash. - Sassy Little Sarah is the one to catch when she drops back to the level of her last win in Friday's Emerald Downs feature, a 6 1/2-furlong race for $25,000 fillies and mares that has drawn a field of six.

Sassy Little Sarah, a 5-year-old trained by Tom Wenzel, began her campaign with a wire-to-wire victory over $25,000 claimers on April 29, when she sped 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03 to prevail by nearly five lengths. Entered back against $40,000 optional claimers at six furlongs on May 14, Sassy Little Sarah could not get to the front and faded late to be beaten more than 11 lengths by Star Amethyst. She appears to be the clear speed of Friday's field and should be difficult to collar despite stretching out a sixteenth of a mile. She has won 2 of 4 at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Zairsaplan, the only last-out winner in the field, steps up after posting a neck win over $15,000 claimers in a six-furlong race

on May 28. Zairsaplan, who is trained by Frank Lucarelli, won at the $25,000 level last year as a 4-year-old and probably poses the most realistic threat to Sassy Little Sarah.

Three others exit a six-furlong race for $20,000 claimers May 20. Placer Creek was beaten only a head in that race, which was run in 1:10.40, and Joeronohmoe was another head back in third. Breakin My Heart finished sixth after making a threatening middle move in her first start of the year, but was beaten less than three lengths.