07/19/2004 11:00PM

'Diamond' faces much easier task

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AUBURN, Wash. - Diamond View will drop sharply in search of an elusive second win Thursday, when he heads a field of eight 4-year-olds in the six-furlong feature at Emerald Downs. The feature is for $15,000 claimers who have never won two races.

Diamond View, a son of Diamond Sword who is trained by Jim Penney, won his only start last year over $18,000 maidens at Hastings. He has been facing good company this season, racing against optional claiming company in four of his five starts. His lone in-the-money finish came in his only start for a claiming price June 4, when he finished third to $32,000 to $28,000 company going six furlongs. He is coming off a fifth-place finish behind track-record holder Best on Taps in a $25,000 optional claiming event July 5, when he was beaten just over eight lengths

Another class dropper, Sowhatsyourpoint, may offer Diamond View his sternest opposition. Sowhatsyourpoint, who is trained by Dan Kenney, tried $25,000 optional claiming company three times before dropping to the $25,000 claiming level July 9. He finished seventh, but was beaten only 3 3/4 lengths. Sowhatsyourpoint's only win from 12 career starts came last season, when he got loose on the lead against $40,000 maidens and won by nearly 10 lengths in 1:08.20 for six furlongs.

The sleeper could be Legal Games, who comes off a win over modest $8,000 maidens in his yearly debut June 27. Legal Games, a son of Game Plan who is trained by Dan Markle, overcame a slow start and an extremely wide trip to win by more than a length in 1:10.80.