10/13/2005 11:00PM

Claiming Challenge caps meet

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AUBURN, Wash. - The inaugural Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge will help to bring down the curtain on Emerald's 101-day meeting on Sunday.

The Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge will spotlight claiming runners, the backbone of any race meet, in five starter handicap races with purses totaling nearly $80,000. The program within a program comprises a $7,500 starter handicap at six furlongs, male and female divisions of a $3,500 starter handicap at 1 1/16 miles, and male and female divisions of a $15,000 starter handicap, at 6 1/2 furlongs for the females and a mile for the males.

The mile race will take the featured slot on the card and will pit Old Glory Handicap winner Diamond View against Best Game in Town, the runner-up in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic on Washington Cup Day, Oct. 2.

Also included on the 11-race closing day card are the Grey Ghost starter allowance, a six-furlong test for grays or roans who have started for a claiming price of $10,000 or less in 2005, and the Twice Around Handicap, a two-mile affair to be run under $10,000 starter handicap conditions.

Sunday is also Fan Appreciation Day, with $1 admission, programs, preferred parking, reserved seating, large sodas, hot dogs, and ice cream. The track's gift shop,

The Gift Horse, will also offer 25 percent discounts on all merchandise.

After the races, there will be a fund-raiser to benefit injured jockey Victor Mercado.