02/26/2003 12:00AM

Streaking Joy's Toy steps up


PORTLAND, Ore. - Joy's Toy will seek a third straight win on Friday night, stepping up to take on five other older filly and mares in the feature at Portland Meadows, a $5,000 claiming race at six furlongs.

Joy's Toy, a 6-year-old daughter of Michael's Flyer from the barn of trainer Dean Bremer, began her current streak when she led throughout six furlongs in a 3 1/2-length win against $3,200 claimers on Feb. 9. Coming back only five days later, against $3,200 claimers at 4 1/2 furlongs, Joy's Toy repeated with a three-length win in 53.20 seconds. Regular rider Tadd Skaggs was up for both of those wins and again has the mount on Friday. Joy's Toy will be shooting for her 10th career win.

Ionix handed Joy's Toy her last loss, back on Jan. 20, when she scored as the favorite under Friday night's conditions - and she again looms as a formidable adversary. Ionix was claimed out of that race by trainer Jonathan Nance, who jumped her to the allowance level on Feb. 2, when she responded with a strong second to Barmara at six furlongs. Ionix returned to the $5,000 claiming level last time out on Feb. 17, but faded to fourth after disputing the early pace.

Among those who passed Ionix in the lane in the Feb. 17 race was Breezy Bullette, who at 30-1 just missed catching the victorious Nancys Blazen Lady. Breezy Bullette should not be overlooked again on Friday because she stands to be the chief beneficiary if Joy's Toy and Ionix battle too strenuously for the early lead.

Two others, Abuelo and Smoozie, are primarily routers, but could also prove difficult to defeat if a speed duel develops.

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