05/04/2005 12:00AM

Colony Lane takes drop in return

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AUBURN, Wash. - Colony Lane will drop to the $15,000 claiming level in an attempt to get back on the winning track in Friday's feature, a six-furlong test for older horses. The race has drawn a field of 10.

Trained by Bonnie Jenne, Colony Lane won the 2003 Washington Cup Classic at Emerald Downs in his last start as a 4-year-old and was expected to be a major factor in the local handicap division last year. He never finished better than third in four starts, however, and his attempt to defend his title in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, formerly the Washington Cup Classic, resulted in a 40-length defeat to Demon Warlock.

Now 6, Colony Lane got the entire winter off and has trained well for his return. He posted a half-mile workout in 45.20 seconds on March 23 and has since recorded four more strong drills.

Colony Lane may get his stiffest challenge from Free Cocktails, who is also dropping in class after running fifth to allowance rivals in a 5 1/2-furlong test here April 16. A 4-year-old son of Free House, Free Cocktails graduated at the maiden special weight level last year and has never started for a claiming price less than $32,000.

If the class droppers fail to fire, Black Hurricane could be the one to pull an upset. Black Hurricane ended his 3-year-old campaign last year with back-to-back wins over lesser and finished third to $10,000 rivals in his seasonal bow at 5 1/2 furlongs April 22.