09/15/2001 11:00PM

Showdown highlights Emerald finale


AUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs will close its 91-day meeting on Monday with one of the most attractive match-ups of the season, a head-to-head clash between Makors Mark and Kittys Link in the $60,000 Washington Championship at 1 1/16-miles.

Makors Mark, who will carry a highweight package of 123 pounds with Gary Baze aboard, figures to go off as the favorite in a field of seven older Washington-breds.

The 4-year-old Dave Forster trainee has enjoyed a stellar season thus far, winning the $75,000 Budweiser Emerald Handicap and the $100,000 Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap, and finishing a good third in the $250,000 Longacres Mile in his most recent outing on Aug. 19.

Markors Mark only narrowly outfinished Kittys Link in both the Mt. Rainier and the Mile, however, and Kittys Link has a history of success in the Washington Championship. The Jim Penney-trained 7-year-old won the race in 1998, lost a close photo to Dash Eight in 1999, and finished a clear second to stablemate and Horse of the Meeting Edneator last year. Gallyn

Mitchell will ride and carry 118 pounds on Monday.

Not to be overlooked is Snohomish Loot, a Turf Paradise stakes winner who shipped in to run third in the 6 1/2 furlong Governor's Handicap and sixth in the Mile. The 6-year-old son of Better Believe Me improves with distance and could be the value play under Kevin Radke at 117 pounds.

The Washington Championship will go as the 10th of 11 live races on Monday's getaway day card, which features a special first post time of 5 p.m.