05/22/2010 12:00AM

Seattle shipper Knight Raider one to beat


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sophomore fillies will take center stage at Hastings Monday in the $50,000 Emerald Downs. The 6 1/2-furlong feature drew eight horses, and if Knight Raider shows up with her best stuff from Emerald Downs she'll be tough to beat.

Trained by Doris Harwood, Knight Raider won four races by a combined total of 34 1/4 lengths last year and she has consistently put up the best Beyer Speed Figures in the field. Harwood got away with larceny when she dropped Knight Raider in for $12,500 in her second start, which she won by over 10 lengths. Knight Raider then reeled off three straight front-running stakes wins before finishing fourth as the heavy favorite in the Diane Kem in her final start of the year. In her only start in 2010 she came from off the pace to finish second in the $50,000 Federal Way May 9.

Leading rider Mario Gutierrez picks up the mount from Ricky Frazier.

Trainer Rob Gilker is looking for a big effort from Victorious Vye in her first start as a 3-year-old. Victorious Vye won her debut in a maiden race August 28 and came back to win the CTHS Sales Stakes Sept. 12. She finished second behind Vying Ty Grr in the Sadie Diamond Futurity and had the same result behind Ebony N Ice when she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the $103,000 Fantasy.

She missed a prep-race for the Emerald Downs due to a virus but, according to Gilker, she is coming up to the race in peak condition.

"She wasn't that sick and she continued to gallop," said Gilker. "She missed one work, and the race, but she trains like a bear and she gallops harder than any horse I have in the barn."

Victorious Vye looked very strong in the final stages of her 6 1/2-furlong work out of the gate in 1:21 flat with jockey Dave Wilson aboard May 14.

Otero, trained by Dave Forster, lost her undefeated status when she finished second behind Dearest Princess in a $75,000 optional race May 1. She won a maiden race and the Lassie in two starts in 2009.

Dearest Princess will be trying to win her fourth race in a row for trainer Mel Snow.

Trainer Barbara Heads has Vying Ty Grr and Ebony N Ice entered as an uncoupled entry.