05/31/2005 12:00AM

'Buckshot' still knows how to win

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AUBURN, Wash. - Do's Buckshot heads a field of nine in Thursday's Emerald Downs feature, a $3,500 starter allowance at a mile.

The program is the first of 12 Thursday cards this summer, and each will include a race for lower-level claimers. Many of the horses in these races will race in the Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge on closing day, Oct. 16. The Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge is a series of five starter allowance races with enhanced purses totaling $79,000.

Do's Buckshot, a 7-year-old trained by Debbie Van Horne, is a former class horse who has regained his winning stride since being dropped to the $3,500 level here on May 1. Do's Buckshot won by 1 1/2 lengths that day, getting 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.40, then came back on May 21 to again defeat $3,500 company, winning by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:15.80.

Do's Buckshot should not be deterred by the move to the mile distance, as he won a mile race against $50,000 optional claimers back in 2003, when he competed against many of the best horses on the grounds.

Do's Buckshot will be facing a number of other sharp horses, including Stregawood, who won three straight here last season. Stregawood, a late-running 9-year-old from the barn of trainer Gene Davis, is coming off a neck score over $3,500 starter allowance company at 5 1/2 furlongs on April 29. That was his second start of the year, and he will be stretching out to a distance at which he has three wins in nine prior attempts.