05/10/2004 11:00PM

Benny G lands in soft spot


AUBURN, Wash. - Benny G is the one to beat in a field of six in Thursday's feature, a starter allowance for 3-year-olds who won their maiden at the $32,000 level or below.

Thursday racing will continue throughout the remainder of the 89-day Emerald Downs meeting.

Benny G just scored under tougher conditions. Benny G, a speedy son of Consigliere who races for Vic-Tory Stables V, defeated first-level allowance foes by 1 1/2 lengths in his 3-year-old debut on May 2, when he covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.60. Benny G became eligible for Thursday's race when he beat $12,500 maidens by nearly 14 lengths last Sept. 7, the day trainer Larry Wolf claimed him for his current owners.

Ricky Frazier will again ride Benny G after surviving a mishap in the gate on Sunday. Frazier landed on his head after being thrown from Castle Mountain prior to the Hastings Park Handicap, but suffered only a mild concussion, according to agent Boone McCanna.

Benny G might receive his most serious challenge from Hezamanontherun, who won his career debut over $16,000 maidens here on April 23. Hezamanontherun, a son of Slewdledo from the barn of Doris Harwood, prevailed by a neck over Eecheero in 56.80 for five furlongs. Both Eecheero and fourth-place finisher Keys a Don Juan returned to win, and third-place finisher Classic Regal returned to run second.