07/13/2005 12:00AM

Big Bad Bue back for Marathon

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AUBURN, Wash. - The Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Marathon Championship Series will begin Friday at Emerald Downs with the first of four races for $10,000 starter allowance company.

The first leg of the series has drawn a field of seven to run at 1 1/8 miles. The rest of the series includes a 1 1/4-mile leg to be run July 15, a 1 1/2-mile leg on Aug. 27, and a 1 3/4-mile leg on Sept. 18.

Big Bad Bue figures to be favored off his past accomplishments and his sharp current form. Trained by Sharon Ross, Big Bad Bue proved best in the 1 1/4-mile leg of last year's series and finished second to eventual champ Duke of Kent in the 1 1/2-mile leg. He will be making his fourth start of the current stand and is rounding into form, having run second in a $10,000 starter allowance affair at a mile last time out, on July 4.

Big Bad Bue figures to get his stiffest opposition from Mister Doeny, who is coming off a win over $7,500 rivals at a mile on July 2, and California invader Hey It's Richard.

Hey It's Richard began his career with three starts over this track in 2003, including a second-place finish against maiden special weight company at a mile. He has since raced 18 times in California, posting a pair of wins at 1 1/16 miles against $14,000 maidens and $12,500 winners. He was claimed by Hern and LePley out of a fourth-place effort against $12,500 company at Golden Gate on June 10 and will be making his first start for trainer Tim McCanna.