05/21/2003 11:00PM

Wide posts may hurt favorites

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AUBURN, Wash. - Perfect Plan and It's Stevie's Time, both recent winners at the $25,000 claiming level at six furlongs, will seek to repeat when stretching out to 6 1/2 furlongs and stepping up into $32,000 company in Saturday's featured race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.

Perfect Plan and It's Stevie's Time shared identical clockings of 1:09.40 in their recent scores, which came May 11 for the former and on May 4 for the latter.

They also shared nearly identical trips. Both of the 4-year-old fillies stalked a hot pace while saving ground, then swung out for room approaching the stretch, and ran down the tiring speed. In other words, both enjoyed a perfect trip.

It may be difficult to duplicate those journeys Saturday, because Perfect Plan drew post 9 in the field of 10 and It's Stevie's Time drew the outside post. The likelihood that those posts will lead to wide trips may entice bargain hunters to search for better odds on others.

Silky Secret finished third in the race won by Perfect Plan, but she was beaten only 1 1/4 lengths despite being caught in tight quarters in upper stretch. She may have proven best with a clear path to the wire. Silky Secret, a 6-year-old from the barn of trainer Sharon Ross, won her previous outing, over $16,000 company in April at Golden Gate, and could prove formidable with a local outing under her girth. She will be ridden by Gary Baze at 118 pounds.

Also a threat is Exclusive Molly, who finished fourth and last in a short field of $40,000 claimers in her seasonal debut April 26. Exclusive Molly appeared short that day, but should benefit from the outing and the drop in class.