07/30/2002 11:00PM

Distance, weight will test 'If Not'

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AUBURN, Wash. - If Not Why Not, a wire-to-wire winner of the 1 1/8-mile leg of the Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Marathon Championship Series on July 19, attempts to stretch his speed another furlong when he takes on eight challengers in Friday's second installment of the three-race series at Emerald Downs.

If Not Why Not, a 6-year-old son of Jazzing Around from the barn of trainer George Colello, went unchallenged through six furlongs in a moderate 1:13.20 in the series debut, then held off a prolonged challenge from S. S. Hawkeye to win by a nose in 1:50.60 for the nine furlongs.

Under the rules of the marathon series, which is run under $10,000 starter allowance conditions, If Not Why Not must pick up five pounds and will carry high weight of 123 pounds on Friday. The increased weight, coupled with the increased distance of the 1 1/4-mile race, will severely test If Not Why Not's stamina. Nonetheless, he again appears to be the speed of the field and should draw strong support with regular rider Amir Cedeno up.

S. S. Hawkeye returns under Gallyn Mitchell at 118 pounds, the same weight he carried in the series debut. S. S. Hawkeye, like most of the others in Friday's field, has not attempted 1 1/4 miles, but the 6-year-old Son of Briartic gelding is a half-brother to the long-winded Military Hawk, an earner of more than $686,000, and should relish the added ground on the basis of his pedigree.

Also dangerous is Big Mig, a distance specialist from British Columbia. He is coming off back-to-back wins over 1 1/16 miles.

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