11/10/2005 1:00AM

Colony Lane steps up two levels


AUBURN, Wash. - Colony Lane will shoot for his third straight win on Saturday when he heads a field of nine in the six-furlong feature for $8,000 to $6,250 claimers at Portland Meadows.

Colony Lane, a 6-year-old son of Majesterian, was claimed by trainer Jim Fergason for owner David Green for $15,000 in August at Emerald Downs. After posting a third and a fourth in his next two starts, he was dropped to the $3,500 level on Oct. 10 and responded with a half-length win in 1:09.40 for six furlongs.

Bumped to the $5,000 level for his local debut on Oct. 22, Colony Lane took the early lead and widened with every stride, winning off by nearly a dozen lengths in 1:05.20 for 5 1/2 furlongs.

"Dropping him down to get the first win was the key," said Fergason. "That got his confidence back, and you could see that in his last start."

Though he will be stepping up two floors on Saturday, Colony Lane is a stakes winner at Emerald Downs and should have the back class to handle the price hike. Clark Jones will retain the mount at 119 pounds.

Colony Lane might get his sternest challenge from Bomartini, who is stepping down a notch after defeating $10,000 claimers by a length on Oct. 22. Bomartini's clocking of 1:06.80 for 5 1/2 furlongs did not approach the time hung up by Colony Lane on the same day, however.

Also a threat is Bay Meadows invader Dino Camino.