09/17/2004 11:00PM

Meet ends with 2-mile marathon

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AUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs will conclude its ninth season with a special Monday program that gets under way at 5 p.m.

The 90-day meet will end with an 11-race card that drew 104 entries, the most horses to enter a single program at the entire meeting. The record number includes five trained by Frank Lucarelli and three trained by Tim McCanna, who have been in a seesaw battle for leading trainer throughout the meeting. Prior to Saturday's races, Lucarelli held the lead by a 51-48 margin.

One of the Lucarelli trainees, Duke of Kent, the highweight at 123 pounds, figures to go favored in Monday's feature, a two-mile marathon to be run under $12,500 starter handicap conditions.

The 4-year-old Duke of Kent will be bidding for his sixth win at the meet and possible claimer of the meeting honors. Interestingly, Duke of Kent won his first two starts at the meeting for McCanna, but Lucarelli claimed him out of his second win for $7,500 and has since saddled him for three more wins. His most recent score came in the 1 1/2-mile finale of the Harley Hoppe and Associates Marathon Series on Aug. 15, when he prevailed by 1 3/4 lengths over Big Bad Bue.

Big Bad Bue, a 5-year-old from the barn of trainer Sharon Ross, defeated Duke of Kent by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/4-mile leg of the marathon series.