06/21/2007 11:00PM

Shampoo gets first shot at mile

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AUBURN, Wash. - Shampoo will shoot for her third straight stakes score when she stretches out to a mile for the first time in Sunday's $45,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies.

Shampoo, a homebred daughter of Gulch who races for Jerre Paxton's Northwest Farms, is expected to be favored over eight challengers owing to her very sharp form. She posted a 4 1/4-length victory in the six-furlong U.S. Bank Stakes on May 12, then came back to win the Federal Way Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs by a half-length in her last outing, on June 2. Though she has never tried two turns, her dam, Taste the Passion, won the mile Barbara Shinpoch Stakes as a 2-year-old in 1999. Trainer Doris Harwood has given the call to leading rider Ricky Frazier at 119 pounds.

Shampoo figures to get her sternest challenge from Zaylaway, who was a fast-closing second in the Federal Way. Zaylaway, a homebred daughter of Brahms who races for Sid Belzberg's Budget Stable, was a stakes winner going 6 1/2 furlongs last year at Hastings and has won 2 of 8 starts with 2 seconds and 2 thirds. Though she is another who will be routing for the first time on Sunday, she has finished strongly in almost all of her sprints and seems likely to appreciate more ground. Gallyn Mitchell will ride again for trainer Janet Armstrong.

Another threat is Skewing, who finished third in the Federal Way. Skewing, a daughter of Skimming from the barn of trainer Roy Lumm, won 3 of 4 starts here last season, including the six-furlong Diane Kem Stakes for Washington-breds. She finished a distant sixth when making her 3-year-old debut in the U.S. Bank, but improved sharply to be beaten less than three lengths in the Federal Way and appears to be returning to her best form. Joe Crispin has the mount.

Making her stakes debut will be Firetrail, who has won 2 of 3 starts. Firetrail, a daughter of Defensive Play who is trained by Junior Coffey, is the apparent speed of Sunday's field and looms a threat to lead throughout.

Sunday's 12th annual Irish Day festivities will include special food and drink menus, with souvenir glasses available with some drinks, an Irish band, and activities in the park. Fans who find shamrock-shaped holes punched in their programs will receive $1,000 cash prizes.