06/03/2005 12:00AM

Sariano will try to catch Marva Jean


AUBURN, Wash. - Marva Jean and Sariano, the top two finishers in last month's Hastings Park Handicap here at six furlongs, will be rematched at 6 1/2 furlongs in Sunday's Washington State Legislators' Handicap for fillies and mares.

Marva Jean will be shooting for her third straight win. Trained by Frank Lucarelli, Marva Jean tuned up with a gate-to-wire win over allowance company at 5 1/2 furlongs before her stakes win, which was also accomplished in front-running fashion. Marva Jean is the apparent speed of Sunday's seven-horse field and should prove difficult to catch if she can relax on the lead.

The added sixteenth definitely favors Sariano, however, as she closed 4 1/4 lengths in the final furlong of the Hastings Park to be beaten by three-quarters of a length. Sariano, from the barn of trainer Steve Bullock, was making her first start against older horses in the Hastings Park. Last year she finished third in the six-furlong U.S. Bank Stakes in her seasonal debut, then came back to win the 6 1/2-furlong Federal Way Handicap in her second start of the year.

Top Penny finished sixth in the Hastings Park, but she was blocked along the rail most of the way and seems capable of rebounding. She won a 5 1/2-furlong stakes at Turf Paradise in her previous outing, and she has been stakes placed four times at Emerald for trainer Doug Driever, who is looking for his first local stakes win.