08/14/2008 11:00PM

Shampoo favored in Distaff


AUBURN, Wash. - Highweighted Shampoo will attempt to fend off formidable invaders from the north and south in Sunday's 1 1/8-mile, $100,000 Emerald Distaff, which shares billing with the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

Shampoo, a 4-year-old daughter of Gulch from the barn of trainer Doris Harwood, earned a highweight assignment of 121 pounds on the strength of her record of seven wins, five of them in stakes, from 14 starts. She was named last season's champion 3-year-old filly at Emerald after running off four straight stakes wins, and she recently returned to her best form with an authoritative 2 3/4-length score in the 1 1/16-mile Boeing Handicap on July 27. Harwood feels she is coming up to Sunday's race in apple pie order. She drew post 3 in a field of 10.

"She is doing really well, and I really have no concerns," Harwood said. "I'm happy with our post, and it looks like we'll have a fast track. Everything's good."

Among Shampoo's challengers is Lady Raj, who ranks as the top routing older filly or mare at Hastings. Lady Raj, trained by Troy Taylor, scored back-to-back wins in the Juneo15 Strawberry Morn and the July 5 Vancouver Sun, both at 1 1/16 miles, before losing by a neck to Alpine Garden in the 1o1/8-mile B.C. Cup Distaff on Aug. 4.

Also in the race are the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained duo of Rivoltella and Lemon Kiss, who arrived at Emerald via chartered plane from San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.

Rivoltella, a 4-year-old Broken Vow filly, shipped here last year to win the $100,000 Washington Oaks over a sloppy track. That was the first indication that Rivoltella is an exceptional off-track runner. The second came when she won the one-mile Kachina Handicap at Turf Paradise over a sloppy surface in January, earning a lofty 95 Beyer Speed Figure. She is unlikely to get her favorite footing on Sunday, however, as forecasts call for warm, dry weather.

Lemon Kiss, a 4-year-old Lemon Drop Kid filly, will be shooting for her first stakes win after winning twice at the allowance level in Northern California. She is coming off a second to turf star Wild Promises in the 1 1/16-mile Luther Burbank over the Santa Rosa turf course on July 26.