09/05/2007 11:00PM

Military Deputy steps up

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AUBURN, Wash. - Marathon champion Military Deputy will attempt to further burnish his distance credentials in Saturday's top offering at Emerald Downs, a $12,500 starter allowance affair that has attracted five older horses to vie at 1 1/4 miles.

Military Deputy, a 5-year-old son of The Deputy from the barn of trainer Roy Lumm, won this season's Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Marathon Championship Series by scoring decisive victories in the last two legs of the three-race series. He won the 1 1/4-mile second leg by 3 1/4 lengths on Aug. 3, then came back to win the 1 1/2-mile finale by two lengths, defeating Crowning Event in both races. Those races were contested under $7,500 starter allowance conditions, so Military Deputy will be stepping up in class Saturday. He will again be ridden by Macario Rodriguez at 118 pounds.

Military Deputy figures to have his hands full with Geririg, who will be dropping from the stakes ranks. Geririg, a 7-year-old son of Geri who is trained by Mike Hill, won Turf Paradise's 1 3/8-mile Wildcat Handicap on grass in April before finishing fourth in the 1 7/8-mile Hasta La Vista Handicap in May.

Geririg has raced twice at the current Emerald Downs meet, finishing sixth in a $10,000 starter allowance over a mile and sixth in the $68,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Leslie Mawing has the mount on Geririg, who will tote 120 pounds.