09/11/2002 11:00PM

'Slew' duo rematched in sprint

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AUBURN, Wash. - Slew's Carousel and Slew of the Night, who finished a nose apart when second and third in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race on Aug. 17, figure to share the favorite's role in Saturday's $25,000 Backstretch Chapel Stakes. The 6 1/2-furlong race, a restricted stakes for Washington-bred 3-year-olds, has drawn a field of six.

Slew's Carousel, who like Slew of the Night is by the prolific Washington sire Slewdledo, might have a slight edge for a couple of reasons.

First, he has had the benefit of an interim race, finishing a strong second in a $40,000 optional claiming race at a mile on Sept. 1. Second, Slew's Carousel's stalking style should serve him well in a race that figures to feature a crowded pace scenario that includes Slew of the Night.

Slew of the Night, a confirmed front-runner, can expect early challenges from Diamond Ten and Aladin Sane, both of whom have won twice while contesting the lead. Slew of the Night doesn't mind dueling, but his best race came July 6 when he was able to shake loose on the lead in a $32,000 claiming race, which he won with 6 1/2 furlongs in a dazzling 1:15.

Country Starlight is another who would benefit from a contested pace on Saturday. He came from well back in both of his career wins, and closed to finish within a neck of Slew's Carousel and Slew of the Night in their Aug. 17 meeting. Though overmatched in a subsequent try in the nine-furlong Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 2, Country Starlight seems a solid fit at Saturday's distance and class level.

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