04/24/2008 11:00PM

Shampoo geared up for return to races


AUBURN, Wash. - Shampoo, who was among the brightest stars at Emerald Downs last season, is slated to make her 4-year-old debut in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance dash Sunday. Will she be ready to shine her brightest at first asking?

"That would be asking a lot," trainer Doris Harwood said. "Five and a half furlongs is really too short for her, so we're not expecting a whole lot this time. We'll be happy if she finishes well and comes out of the race well. That would set her up for the Hastings Park Handicap on May 18, which is what we are looking to do."

While Sunday's test might be too short for Shampoo, who won four stakes last year from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, Shampoo herself won't be a short horse.

"She is ready," said Harwood. "She has been working beautifully, and she wants to run. I had a horse in on opening night, and Shampoo figured out that somebody was going to run, so she started squealing to get out of her stall. Right then, I realized I'd better find a race for her pretty quick."

Regardless of her showing Sunday, Harwood feels Shampoo is about to launch an exceptional campaign.

"I'm really high on her," she said. "Last year, she grabbed a quarter and tore a piece of her hoof off before the meeting, so she did all that running on a damaged hoof. Now it is all grown out, and she is completely healthy. I think she'll be a factor right from the beginning, and she will only get tougher as the distances increase."

Jerre Paxton, who owns both Shampoo and her 3-year-old half-sister, Smarty Deb, said Smarty Deb is training forwardly for trainer Carla Gaines in Southern California.

"She has breezed three-eighths twice, and she will go a half-mile in her next work," Paxton said. "We're really not sure when she will be ready to race, but Carla feels she is on schedule and doing well."

Smarty Deb, who won three stakes here last summer before running a troubled fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Monmouth Park, is expected to compete on the highest levels this year.

Gallon drills for Auburn Stakes

Gallon worked five furlongs in 59.40 seconds under jockey Juan Gutierrez on Thursday morning in preparation for the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on May 11. Gallon, a son of Victory Gallop from the barn of trainer Jim Penney, might have prepped in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race that was offered for Friday, but he didn't enter and the race didn't fill.

"We decided way back last winter that he would make his first start of the year in the Auburn, so we didn't even try to get him ready earlier," owner Mike Feuerborn said. "We're expecting a lot from him this year, so we want to make every start count."

Gallon finished first in both the Premio Esmeralda and the WTBA Lads here last season, but he was disqualified from the first of those stakes wins for bumping. After running second to Smarty Deb in the Gottstein Futurity, he shipped to Bay Meadows to win a 7 1/2-furlong allowance race on the grass. He completed his juvenile campaign by running fourth to Kentucky Derby contender Colonel John in the 1 1/16-mile Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park in November.

Feuerborn said he has two reasons to pull for Colonel John in the May 3 Kentucky Derby. A Derby win for Colonel John would flatter Gallon's effort in the Real Quiet, as Gallon was beaten only four lengths in that race. Also, Feuerborn recently bred his good mare A Classic Life to Colonel John's sire, two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow.

"I just heard that she has been declared in foal," he said. "I'm pretty excited about getting that baby."

A Classic Life was retired last year after a 19-race career that netted 7 wins, including 4 stakes wins, and $201,285 in earnings.

Penney works bulk of stable

Gallon, incidentally, was one of 19 horses from the Penney barn to work Thursday morning.

"We worked pretty much the whole barn," said Penney's son-in-law, Bryson Cooper. "The track was really nice, so we let them all loose. It was a busy morning."

Among the stakes runners who worked for Penney were Jamaica Bound, who went six furlongs in 1:11.80; Get You, who went six furlongs in 1:11.20; and Honour the West, who went six furlongs in 1:11.20 from the gate. Jamaica Bound is expected to make his 2008 debut in the six-furlong Seattle Handicap on May 4.

Cooper also said 2006 Longacres Mile winner Flamethrowintexan and 2005 Gottstein Futurity winner Schoolin You arrived on the grounds Thursday to begin more serious preparations for their summer campaigns. Both had been in training at the Penney family's Homestretch Farm.

Derby film showing in Seattle

Race fans and film buffs alike should be aware that "The First Saturday in May," a highly praised documentary that follows Barbaro and five other horses in their preparation for the 2006 Kentucky Derby, will be shown through Thursday at The Varsity Theatre in Seattle's University District.