05/20/2010 12:00AM

Several will take money at Emerald


AUBURN, Wash. - Seven evenly matched fillies and mares are scheduled to compete in Saturday's feature race at Emerald Downs, a $17,500 claimer at six furlongs. Racing begins at 2 p.m. Pacific and the feature is the ninth race on a 10-race program.

Nancy Perkins, a front-running winner in a $15,000 claiming race in her season debut May 2, may assume the role of favorite, though the betting figures to spread out, with Mizzen You and Nina Win also among the leading contenders.

Nancy Perkins has six victories, all at Emerald Downs. She won one of her seven starts last summer, a $12,500 claimer at six furlongs under Ricky Frazier, who has the riding assignment Saturday. In her first start at the current meeting, the Bob Meeking-trained 7-year-old set a quick pace and held on gamely to defeat Big Bertha by a neck, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.60.

Mizzen You won a $20,000 maiden claimer May 1 in her 4-year-old debut. While she lacks the experience of a horse like Nancy Perkins, Mizzen You has a quick turn of foot and looks to be well-spotted in Saturday's race. Inoel Beato has the riding assignment for trainer Dan Markle, who is off to a strong start at the meeting; 19 of his first 25 starters have finished in the money.

With Nancy Perkins, Mizzen You and a couple of other horses expected to contest a fast pace, the race could set up for Nina Win, a late-running 6-year-old with 10 victories. While her last seven wins were accomplished around two turns, the Roy Lumm-trained Nina Win has two victories in eight starts at six furlongs. Cassie Papineau is scheduled to ride.

K Lea Road, making her third start of 2010, has an outside chance. Trained by Jose Navarro, she won three of her six starts in 2009, and finished second in her most recent outing, a $10,000 claiming sprint May 8. Jose Zunino, aboard for each of her victories last summer, is the jockey.

Others in the field are Maker Happy, who authored a $51.40 upset last May in her only start; Cee the Lady, a romping winner for $5,000 in her last start; and Expressa, who won a $25,000 maiden claimer April 25.

Maker Happy has worked exceptionally well for her first start in more than a year and has the early speed to complicate matters for Nancy Perkins and Mizzen You.