05/08/2008 12:00AM

Startjumpin Marnie tops U.S. Bank


AUBURN, Wash. - California invader Startjumpin Marnie figures as the one to beat in Saturday's $50,000 U.S. Bank Stakes, a six-furlong race that has drawn a field of seven 3-year-old fillies.

Startjumpin Marnie, a daughter of Jump Start from the powerful barn of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, was claimed out of a win against $50,000 maidens at Santa Anita on Feb. 10. Shipped to Bay Meadows, she ran off two more wins against $32,000 and $50,000 optional claimers on March 23 and April 10. Hollendorfer has since had difficulty finding a spot for Startjumpin Marnie to run in Northern California, so he nominated her to the U.S. Bank Stakes and sent her to Emerald Downs. She arrived early Tuesday morning at the barn of trainer Roy Lumm. Lumm said the filly arrived without incident and she will be ridden by her regular partner, Kyle Kaenel, who will fly up from San Francisco on Sunday to accept the mount.

Among the six locals who will challenge Startjumpin Marnie, the Tim McCanna-trained

No Constraints may have the best chance to upset. No Constraints, a daughter of Katowice, won 3 of 5 starts here as a 2-year-old, including wins in the Knights Choice Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs and the Diane Kem Stakes at six furlongs. She will be making her first start as a 3-year-old on Saturday, when she will be ridden by Ricky Frazier.

Also a threat is the Doris Harwood-trained Elusive Horizon, who graduated in spectacular fashion when last seen on Sept. 8. Elusive Horizon, a daughter of Elusive Quality, prevailed by more than five lengths over maiden special weight rivals that day, and her five-furlong clocking of 56.80 was the fastest ever recorded by a juvenile filly at Emerald Downs. Elusive Horizon tuned up for her initial stakes engagement by working a half-mile on Wednesday morning in company with stablemate Margo's Gift, who will contest Sunday's Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings, in 48.20. Juan Gutierrez will have the mount on Elusive Horizon.

Rounding out the field are Enumclaw Girl, Let Me Get My Hat, Sunningdale, and Jasmine's Melody. All but Let Me Get My Hat, who posted a 7 3/4-length win over allowance rivals here on April 27, when she sped 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.40, will be making their seasonal debuts in the U.S. Bank Stakes.

Saturday's 10-race card is slated to get under way at 2 p.m.