07/20/2005 11:00PM

Strollin Slew finds the right spot

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AUBURN, Wash. - Strollin Slew is the one to beat in Saturday's best race at Emerald Downs, a six-furlong test for fillies and mares to be run under $25,000 optional claiming conditions.

Strollin Slew, a 5-year-old by Seattle Slew, has impressed in both of her Emerald Downs outings. In her local debut on May 14, she prevailed in a four-way speed duel before yielding late to a perfect-trip winner in a $40,000 optional claiming event at six furlongs. Among those she outdueled that day was Karis Makaw, who has since won two in a row, including the King County Handicap at a mile.

Coming back on July 4, Strollin Slew ran second to local sprint queen Marva Jean in the Betsy Ross overnight handicap at six furlongs. It was the fourth straight win for Marva Jean, and Strollin Slew, who is trained by Sharon Ross, was beaten only two lengths while finishing almost three lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

Strollin Slew meets no stakes winners in Saturday's field and should be able to assert her class under Debbie Hoonan, who has been up for both of her Emerald outings.

Strollin Slew may get her sternest challenge from Touchabull, a winner of 6 of her 31 starts. Trained by Pat Mullens, Touchabull is coming off a third and a fourth under Saturday's conditions, and she will be shortening up to a distance at which she has won 2 of 6 starts.