11/08/2007 12:00AM

Slight edge to Kentucky shipper Silk Degrees

EmailIt's the battle of the invaders in the $45,000 Chandler Stakes at Turf Paradise. The 7 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies drew a field of 10, and the main contenders come from Kentucky, Northern California, and Southern California.

Silk Degrees invades from Kentucky and may be the filly to beat for trainer Keith Bennett. Silk Degrees blossomed on Turfway's Polytrack last winter and spring, with two straight victories there. She beat high-priced claimers at Churchill Downs in her first turf start, was second in a turf stakes at Canterbury Park, and fifth in another turf stakes at Ellis Park. She was off for a couple months but came back Sept. 25 in an optional claiming turf race at Kentucky Downs at about seven furlongs and rallied to win. That sets her up nicely for this.

Bootleg Annie is based in Northern California, though she's no stranger to Turf Paradise. In fact, she won 3 of 4 starts on the local turf course in the spring. She went to Northern California and won four in a row before finishing second last out in a mile turf race at Bay Meadows on Oct. 14. She was claimed that day for $40,000 by trainer O.J. Jauregui. Scott Stevens rides Bootleg Annie, who is 5 for 7 at distances of 7 1/2 furlongs to one mile on turf.

Whimsical Miss has logged a lot of miles, beginning her career in New York before going to Kentucky and then Southern California. Her form had been modest - until an Oct. 18 outing in a turf sprint at Oak Tree at Santa Anita when she rallied strongly to be second. She may well be coming into her own.

Wine Tasting Room may be the best of the local contingent. Owned and trained by Myron Kumke, she was third in the Ahwatukee Express and Bersid locally last month, both on the main track. In her only two grass outings, both locally at 7 1/2 furlongs last April, she won her maiden and was second to Bootleg Annie in the Wende Stakes.