07/28/2004 12:00AM

'Duke' has four in row behind him

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AUBURN, Wash. - Duke of Kent will attempt to make it five victories in a row on Friday when he heads a compact field of six in the second leg of the Harley Hoppe and Associates Marathon Series, which will be run under $10,000 starter allowance conditions at 1 1/4 miles.

The 4-year-old Duke of Kent began his streak with a pair of wins over restricted $7,500 claimers, at 6 1/2 furlongs and a mile, in his first two starts at Emerald Downs in June. He was claimed out of the second of those wins by trainer Frank Lucarelli for the partnership of Maus, Wagner, and Rivera, and has since defeated open $10,000 claimers at six furlongs and $10,000 starter allowance company in the first leg of the marathon series, which was run at nine furlongs on July 16.

In that race, Duke of Kent came from well back to score by three-quarters of a length under regular rider Nate Chaves, who will again have the mount on Friday at 120 pounds.

Duke of Kent defeated nine rivals in the first leg of the series, but he faces only five on Friday. That number includes Fantasy Light, who finished fastest of all to get second in the first leg of the series and appeared to be getting to the winner at the end.

The sleeper in Friday's field could be Tucky Bound, who faded to finish ninth after setting a pressured pace in the first leg of the series. Tucky Bound was hounded by Mr. Melcap, Firefall, and Nomisstaken Kris through six furlongs in 1:11.80 before giving up the lead, and none of those rivals was entered back on Friday.