04/22/2004 12:00AM

Marathon series crown on the line

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Theyjustdontgetit and Mr. Melcap will square off at Portland Meadows for a $5,000 purse and a $1,000 bonus in Saturday's final leg of the Hambleton Lumber Company Marathon Series at 1 1/2 miles.

Theyjustdontgetit and Mr. Melcap won divisions of the initial nine-furlong leg of the three-race series on March 15, with Theyjustdontgetit winning his division by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:54.60 and the Mr. Melcap winning by four lengths in 1:54.80.

Mr. Melcap, a front-runner trained by Delmer Webb, was made the 3-5 favorite for the 1 1/4-mile second leg of the series on April 5, but he was overtaken by Theyjustdontgetit after a mile and had to settle for second, nearly seven lengths behind the winner.

Off that result, Theyjustdontgetit figures to be favored on Saturday, when both horses attempt to go 1 1/2 miles for the first time. Mr. Melcap's best chance to upset will be to dictate a slow pace, but Theyjustdontgetit's connections have attempted to guard against that possibility. Trainer Jonathan Nance and Yo Racing have entered another of their horses, the front-running sprinter Billy White Shoes, to run as an entry with Theyjustdontgetit.

Mr. Melcap is the only horse with a chance to equal or overtake Theyjustdontgetit in the race for the $1,000 bonus, which goes to the trainer of the horse who earns the most points in the series. Six points are awarded for a win, 4 for a second, 2 for a third, and 1 for participating.

Maloya's Sun, Prince Stately and Justslewme round out the field of six.