07/15/2010 12:00AM

Squeallin By tries to stay unbeaten

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AUBURN, Wash. - Squeallin By, unbeaten in three starts, headlines the feature race Saturday at Emerald Downs, a six-furlong $15,000 claiming race for 3-year-old fillies that goes as the eighth of nine races. First post is 2 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Jim Penney, Squeallin By began her career in style May 9, leading wire to wire to win a $12,500 maiden and paying $36.60 as one of the longest prices on the board.

In her second start, Squeallin By raced to an easy victory in a $12,500 claimer for nonwinners of three, and she then defeated older horses June 25 in her most recent outing, also for a $12,500 claiming price.

Squeallin By has been 8-5 and even money in her last two starts, and figures to be one of the wagering favorites Saturday, though this will be her toughest test to date. Her seven opponents have combined to win 13 of their 38 starts, with 9 seconds. Six of the seven opponents have higher career-best Beyer Speed Figures than Squeallin By, whose best Beyer was the 62 she earned in her maiden victory. She will need to move forward Saturday to keep her perfect record intact.

Squeallin By will be ridden by jockey Tony Gutierrez, who has received praise for his work as an exercise rider but has only 21 mounts this season. All three of his wins have come aboard Squeallin By. They will break from post 5, with likely pacesetter Niftys Crystal to their immediate inside.

Niftys Crystal won her season debut May 15, prevailing narrowly after a racelong speed duel with Touch of Elegance in a $25,000 claimer for nonwinners of two. She returned to finish last of five in a first-level $32,000 optional claimer on a sloppy track June 20. That day, she tired in the final furlong after dueling to the top of the stretch with Include the Baby, one of Emerald's leading 3-year-old fillies. Kevin Krigger, rapidly climbing the jockey standings after arriving two months into the meeting, has the call for trainer Bonnie Jenne.