06/24/2002 11:00PM

Starter series fits 'Jana' well


AUBURN, Wash. - Lower-level claimers will be recognized again Thursday when Emerald Downs runs the second leg of the Stanislaw Ashbaugh starter allowance series. The race offers a purse of $7,000 to fillies and mares racing 6 1/2 furlongs under $3,200 starter allowance conditions.

The first leg of the five-race series, which was run for males under the same conditions, was won by the George Colello-trained If Not Why Not, and Colello could strike again Thursday with Jana O'Gaill, who appears likely to be favored over seven rivals.

Jana O'Gaill, who races for owner Leon Winrich, is coming off a game nose victory over $3,200 claimers on June 9, when she got 6 1/2 furlongs in a rapid 1:16.80, earning a 65 Beyer Speed Figure. Jana O'Gaill, a 5-year-old mare, defeated Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in that race, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle flattered her effort by returning to defeat $4,000 claimers last Sunday.

Before dipping down for her win, Jana O'Gaill had been competitive for higher tags, though she had not won since 2000.

Jana O'Gaill figures to get her stiffest opposition from Chimney Fire, who has been racing in sharp form through three starts at the meeting. She defeated $3,200 sprinters for a 60 Beyer in her seasonal debut on May 5, then came back on May 23 to finish a close third against $5,000 company going 6 1/2 furlongs.

She finished a distant fourth under the same conditions in her most recent outing on June 6, but will be dangerous if she can reproduce either of her previous efforts.

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