04/21/2010 11:00PM

Wasserman's little sister finds a spot


AUBURN, Wash. - Perfect Finish, a half-sister to the inimitable Wasserman, headlines Saturday's feature race at Emerald Downs, a $40,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs. The program begins at 2 p.m. Pacific, and the feature is the eighth of nine races.

Wasserman was the wildly popular "people's horse" back in 2008, when he won four stakes races, all in photo finishes, and came from the clouds to capture the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. Now 8 and in the twilight of his career, he needs just one more in-the-money finish to make history as the all-time leading money winner at Washington racetracks.

And just as Wasserman inches toward the door, one of his siblings is trying to get a toehold in Emerald's upper echelon. Based on Perfect Finish's body of work, it's only a matter of time before the 4-year-old filly makes her mark in stakes company.

Though they share the same dam, Share the Knight (by Knights Choice), Wasserman and Perfect Finish have vastly different running styles. Wasserman, by the Fappiano stallion Cahill Road, is a late-running freight train. Perfect Finish, by the Danzig stallion Katowice, is a committed front-runner. She looks to own the controlling speed in Saturday's race.

Both horses are owned and trained by Howard Belvoir, and both have a knack for winning. Perfect Finish is 5 for 11 in her career. She won twice at Emerald Downs last summer and was victorious in three consecutive outings at Portland Meadows in the fall, taking a six-furlong allowance race, the one-mile Mount Hood Handicap, and the six-furlong Diane Kem Handicap in a four-week span.

She made her 2010 debut on April 9 at Emerald Downs, finishing a close third behind two-time stakes winner No Flies On Doodle after failing to make the lead. Saturday's field is less formidable, and Perfect Finish figures to be the wagering favorite. Jennifer Whitaker, who regularly rides both Wasserman and Perfect Finish, has the assignment.

Other horses looking for a piece of the $18,000 purse include Glo Bou Liza, who was stakes placed in her final start in 2009; Crocodile Tuff, who earned nearly $40,000 during a winless 2009 campaign; She's All Silk, who finished five lengths behind Perfect Finish in her 2010 bow; Chukchi Sunrise, second in a Turf Paradise allowance race in her last start; and Gizmo Girl, a Belvoir trainee stepping up sharply following a third-place finish in a $12,500 claimer at Golden Gate.