09/05/2006 12:00AM

'Bigcigr' still going at age 10


AUBURN, Wash. - Ten-year-old Themanwithebigcigr will be shooting for his third straight win when he takes on six rivals in Thursday's feature at Emerald Downs, a 1 1/16-mile affair to be run under $3,500 starter handicap conditions.

Themanwithebigcigr, a son of Leading Hour with 11 wins to his credit, was claimed by trainer Sharon Ross last October at Portland Meadows for $2,500. Not many trainers would claim a 9-year-old, but Ross does well with older geldings and she had trained Themanwithebigcigr earlier in his career. The trainer gave the gelding the winter off, and he has rewarded her with two wins from three starts. Themanwithebigcigr led almost from the beginning en route to a 1 3/4-length score in a mile race for $3,500 claimers in July, then came from six lengths off the pace to repeat at the same level last month. Debbie Hoonan, who was up for both scores, has the mount at 121 pounds.

Themanwithebigcigr could get his sternest challenge from Unaccounted Funds, who is coming off a six-length score over $3,500 claimers in a mile race on Aug. 27. Unaccounted Funds, a 4-year-old from the barn of Tim McCanna, came from just off the pace in his recent win but may go to the front from the rail post on Thursday.

D Devil, who defeated $7,500 company at 1 1/16 miles here in July, will carry high weight of 122 pounds. He is coming off a third-place effort for $7,500.