05/27/2004 11:00PM

Millenium Nugget makes '04 debut


AUBURN, Wash. - Millenium Nugget, the winner of last season's Captain Condo Stakes, will make his 3-year-old debut against 10 other 3-year-olds in Sunday's 6 1/2 furlong allowance feature at Emerald Downs.

Millenium Nugget, a stretch-running son of He's Tops from the barn of trainer Robbie Baze, won his initial start against $25,000 maidens and finished third to Random Memo and Harvard Avenue in a $50,000 optional claiming event before winning the six-furlong Captain Condo on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 21

Millenium Nugget was turned out for the winter and returned here this spring to log a string of solid workouts, highlighted by a five-furlong move in a bullet 59.60 seconds on May 14. Gary Baze will have the mount at 117 pounds.

Millenium Nugget figures to get his most serious challenge from another He's Tops colt, the Sharon Ross-trained Top of Class.

Winless in five starts last year, Top of Class posted an impressive five-length win over maiden special weight company in his first start at 3 on April 16, when he sped 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.20, just a second off the track and world record.

Yet another son of He's Tops, Santiam Top Jazz, will carry high weight of 121 pounds on the strength of his victory in the nine-furlong Oregon Derby at Portland Meadows on April 3.

Santiam Top Jazz was purchased privately after his stakes win by Herman Sarkowsky, who stands He's Tops at Woodstead Farm in Chehalis, Wash.

Now trained by Grant Forster, Santiam Top Jazz will be returning to action after a freshening of nearly two months.

Also dangerous is Best Game in Town, who is coming off a fifth-place finish in the six-furlong Auburn Stakes on May 2.

Best Game in Town, who was claimed by trainer Bonnie Jenne for owner Frank MacDonald out of a win against $15,000 company on April 18, was beaten less than four lengths by Crimson Design in 1:09 for six furlongs.

Sunday's feature will go as the ninth of 10 live races set to start at 1 p.m.