08/07/2007 12:00AM

Marbury, 7, could go favored in feature


AUBURN, Wash. - An evenly matched field of six older $20,000 claimers will contest Thursday's Emerald Downs feature at 1 1/16 miles.

Marbury, a 7-year-old from the barn of trainer Jim Penney, could rate a slight favorite off his presumed class edge. Marbury has raced against tougher competition throughout a career in which he has won 8 of 47 starts for almost $207,000 in earnings. Much of his success has come on turf, but he is 2 for 5 in dirt tries at 1 1/16 miles and comes off a sprint tightener over the local oval. Leading rider Ricky Frazier has the call on Marbury, who breaks from the rail under 120 pounds.

Four of Marbury's opponents are stepping down slightly from the $25,000 level, while the other, My Friend Dave, is moving up off a win against $17,500 claimers at 1 1/16 miles. My Friend Dave, a 7-year-old trained by Corky Caron, has plenty of back class. He is a multiple stakes winner at Portland Meadows, where he was named horse of the meeting in 2005. Leslie Mawing will ride.

Also dangerous is Ragin Nonno, who has posted two seconds and a third in his last four outings, all around two turns. Ragin Nonno, a 4-year-old trained by Dave Bennett, is coming off a good third to Skyrider and Lord Frederick in a 1 1/4-mile race for $25,000 claimers on July 19 and should be full of air for Thursday's cutback in distance. Juan Gutierrez, who has been aboard both My Friend Dave and Ragin Nonno, has opted to ride Ragin Nonno on Thursday.