09/18/2008 12:00AM

Sharp Ema looks for rebound


AUBURN, Wash. - Two runners that bounced in their second starts after promising debuts meet three first-timers in Saturday's Emerald Downs feature, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-old maiden fillies.

Sharp Ema, the first foal by the sensational sprinter Ema Bovary, looked as if she might take after her dam, running a strong second while closing nicely in her debut.

But the $90,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase barely ran a step in her second start, on Sept. 7. That race followed a slow work, and she's turned in an improved work since that start, which could indicate improvement Saturday.

Trainer Doris Harwood is good with 2-year-olds, winning at a 25 percent clip and showing a positive return on investment. Sharp Ema's sire, Seeking the Gold, enjoys good success with 2-year-olds, winning at a 22 percent rate with juvenile runners.

Felice the Cat was also the runner-up in her debut in a $40,000 maiden claimer at Hollywood Park. She was sent to Northern California to the Solano County Fair, fading to seventh of eight in her second start, on July. She's been training at Portland Meadows since and moves to the barn of Jonathan Nance.

All three first-timers are by good debut sires.

Hot Tub Party is a daughter of Officer; Something Spicy is by Majesterian; and Editorial is by Orientate.