09/25/2007 11:00PM

Talent may just trump experience

EmailAUBURN, Wash. - Lightly raced Clair Annette will be thoroughly tested on Friday when she meets eight more experienced rivals in the Emerald Downs feature, at $25,000 optional claiming affair for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Clair Annette, a 4-year-old daughter of Beau Genius from the barn of trainer Connie Bouslaugh, didn't launch her career until Aug. 9 of this year, in a modest $17,500 maiden race. She made short work of that group, drawing off to win by nine lengths in 1:03.60 for 5 1/2 furlongs. Entered back in a $20,000 starter allowance test on Sept. 15, Clair Annette had the bad luck to run into win machine Victory Script, who notched her seventh straight win with 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15. Clair Annette finished six lengths behind Victory Script, but she was another 6 1/2 lengths ahead of the rest of the field in a very promising effort.

Carrie's Choice may offer the sternest opposition to Clair Annette, as she is dropping back to a sprint distance after running third to Firetrail in the one-mile John and Kitty Fletcher Stakes on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 16. In her last two sprints, both at six furlongs, Carrie's Choice graduated against $30,000 maidens and ran second, beaten a head by Judicature, in a $50,000 optional claiming test that was run in 1:09.20.

Also dangerous is Me O Me O My, who tired to finish fifth behind Hit a Star in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Roberts on Washington Cup Day.