05/12/2010 11:00PM

Sweet Nellie Brown looks for old form


AUBURN, Wash. - Seemingly headed for big things last summer after winning her first start by 17 1/4 lengths, Sweet Nellie Brown will attempt to get her house back in order Saturday in the six-furlong feature race at Emerald Downs. A first-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies with a $32,000 optional claiming price, the headliner is the ninth of 10 races on a card that begins at 2 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Jim Penney for owners Jim and Zola Proffitt and Joanne Covert, Sweet Nellie Brown made her eye-popping debut on June 13 in a $30,000 maiden claimer. The 2-1 wagering favorite in a six-horse field, she took command quickly and kicked farther ahead past every pole, running 4 1/2 furlongs in 51 seconds. The final margin was the largest by a debut runner in track history.

Sweet Nellie Brown returned to competition a month later. Matched against colts and geldings in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race, she had to rally to finish second, nine lengths behind the unbeaten Forener. In her third and final start of 2009, she gave way badly after prompting the pace in the six-furlong Angie C Stakes and finished last, 30 lengths behind the winner.

Nine months later, she's ready for her comeback, capping her preparations last Sunday with a five-furlong workout from the gate in 58 seconds, the fastest of 49 works at the distance. Jockey Inoel Beato will ride her for the first time Saturday. They'll break from post 3 in a field of seven.

Shame on Rosie, a two-time stakes winner at Portland Meadows this winter, could be a formidable opponent. She captured the six-furlong Janet Wineberg Stakes in front-running fashion Dec. 14, finished second against males in the OTBA Stallion Stakes on Jan. 18, and then stretched out to a mile to win the Oregon Ms. Stakes on Feb. 17. Freshened for six weeks since her last race, a third-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Oregon Oaks, Shame on Rosie will be ridden by apprentice Pedro Terrero for trainer Ben Root.

Others in the field include Sis's Sis, who won a $17,500 claiming sprint in her last start; Appealing Resume, who was second behind Sis's Sis on opening night and then won her next start; Aquatic Cat, undefeated in two starts at Emerald Downs; Greenback Forest, who had a troubled trip in her season debut April 24; and Terrific Tiffany, a $250,000 yearling making her season debut.