08/24/2007 12:00AM

Marathon series title up for grabs


AUBURN, Wash. - Crowning Event, Military Deputy, and Flip Flop Fly, all winners of previous races in the Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Championship Series, will square off in Sunday's finale at 1 1/2 miles.

At stake is the winner's share of a $20,000 pot, a $1,000 bonus for the trainer of the series points leader, and a handsome trophy for the series champion.

The three-part marathon series, which is run under $7,500 starter allowance conditions, began Julyo13 with 13 horses contesting split divisions of the initial 1 1/8-mile leg. Crowning Event and Flip Flop Fly won those divisions.

The second, 1 1/4-mile leg on Aug. 3 drew 10 entrants, all of whom had to have run in a division of the first leg. Military Deputy won that race, with Crowning Event second and Flip Flop Fly sixth.

Only seven of the original 13 contestants have survived for Sunday's finale. Crowning Event, with a first and a second in the series, comes into the finale as the point leader with 10 points. Military Deputy, with a third and a win, has 8 points. Flip Flop Fly, with a win and an unplaced effort, has 7 points. A win by any of those three Sunday would wrap up the series championship.

Point totals for Sunday's finale are doubled, so the winner will receive 12 points, the runner-up gets 8 points, the third finisher gets 4 points, and the also-rans will get 2 points apiece.