05/06/2002 11:00PM

Vampira need only repeat last

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AUBURN, Wash. - A small but intriguing band of six 3-year-old fillies will compete at 5 1/2 furlongs in the featured race on Thursday.

The race is for $16,000 claiming fillies who have never won two races, and Vampira seems an excellent fit after running a strong second in a similar race at five furlongs on April 21.

Vampira, from the barn of Debbie Van Horne, contested the early fractions in the April 21 race before yielding and losing by a length to Lady Buccaneer, who won in a fast clocking of 57.20 seconds.

Lady Buccaneer came back to run a troubled fifth as the 5-2 second choice, when moving up to a $32,000 claiming race here on Saturday.

In her only other start, Vampira was a 4 1/2-length winner against maiden special weight company at Portland Meadows in February. As the proven quantity in Thursday's field, Vampira is likely to go off as the favorite under Marijo Terleski at 117 pounds.

Two of Vampira's rivals, Sky Ridge Dancer and Missywilldo, are stepping up sharply after scoring strong maiden wins in $8,000 company. Missywilldo was especially impressive, drawing off to win by more than eight lengths and running the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.20 in her debut here on April 28.

Dolly's Hit Lady, Chic Crossing, and Lovely Dawn are dropping in class but need to regain their winning form.

Chic Crossing and Lovely Dawn come in off out-of-the-money finishes at the $25,000 claiming level.

Dolly's Hit Lady, who makes her local debut, ran fifth in a tough $12,500 starter allowance race last time at Golden Gate, where she also won 2 of 7 starts.

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