07/13/2006 11:00PM

Unbeaten filly gets legit challenge


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Sophie's Trophy will try to remain undefeated when she takes on four other 3-year-old fillies in the Emerald Downs Handicap at Hastings Sunday. She will have to deal with a very tough Excited Miss in the 1 1/16-mile feature in order to keep her streak alive.

Sophie's Trophy, who is trained by Janet Armstrong, was very impressive winning her first two starts, both at Hastings. Both times she had clean trips and overpowered her opponents, including Excited Miss in the Langley Handicap May 20.

Sophie's Trophy's win in the one-mile Irish Day Handicap at Emerald Downs June 25 has her connections thinking she could be something special. Despite getting bumped around at the break and dropping back 11 lengths behind the leaders, Sophie's Trophy made a powerful move through the stretch to win by a neck. Dave Wilson rides Sophie's Trophy.

The Emerald Downs Handicap won't be a walk in the park for Sophie's Trophy, though. Trained by Barb Heads, Excited Miss has won 3 of her 5 starts and she's coming off of a powerful five-length win in the 1 1/16-mile CTHS Sales Stakes June 24. Considering the CTHS Sales Stakes was the first time Excited Miss had gone around three turns, she could take a big step forward Sunday.

Excited Miss has good early speed, and with leading rider Pedro Alvarado aboard, she could get the jump on Sophie's Trophy.