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King County Handicap a Classic

July 10, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo

Auburn, WA (July 9) - A Classic Life continued her dominance at Emerald Downs on Sunday, July 9, winning her second stakes event of the season when taking the $40,000 King County Handicap, her seventh win in eight starts at Emerald.

Trained by Grant Forster, A Classic Life broke alertly from post three with Ricky Frazier in the irons as the public's 7-5 betting choice. The filly took the lead in the first jumps out of the gate, but she quickly settled about five lengths back by the clubhouse turn.

"She stood perfect and left the gate running," Frazier said. "I was able to put her anywhere I wanted. She did everything right."

Dinner At Arlene's, with Ben Russell in the irons, made the lead from post eight, setting fractions of 23.60 seconds for the quarter mile and 46.80 for the half mile.

"I was a little leery of going too fast in her first route," Russell said. "She broke well and for her, going 46 and change is perfect. She can do that all day."

A Classic Life began to close the gap at the half-mile pole and by the far turn she had edged her nose in front. "She dragged me to the lead a little before I wanted," Frazier said. "But she was full of run today."

At the top of the stretch, A Classic Life began to open up on the field while Queenledo, ridden by Sandi Gann, started to gain ground from fourth. The daughter of Slewdledo never threatened the winner, but was up in the final jumps to finish second.

"I wasn't surprised how the race set up," Gann said. "I just would have liked to have laid a little closer to her (A Classic Life)."

Forster said he expected his charge to be close to the pace, but left the decision making process to Frazier. "I just told Ricky good luck and keep her in the clear," Forster said from the winner's circle.

A Classic Life improved her record to 7-0-2 from 14 starts with $179,002 in earnings. The filly paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.80 for the win. Queenledo brought in $4.20 and $3.60 for second while Dinner at Arlene's held on gamely to finish third, returning $4.80.

A Classic Life is the first horse to win two stakes at Emerald this season, adding a victory in the $40,000 Washington Legislators Handicap June 11 to Sunday's King County tally.