11/08/2006 1:00AM

Popular group at claim box


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Duane Offield is not one to claim a lot of horses. But he couldn't pass up the chance to take Colonel Courtney, who will make his first start for Offield in Friday's Bay Meadows feature, a $25,000 claimer at six furlongs.

Moving to a new barn is nothing new for Colonel Courtney, not to mention three of his four rivals. Only Double Jim has not been claimed in his career.

This is the type of field that epitomizes what racing is about. The runners are consistent, always willing to give their best. It's that quality that attracted Offield to the 6-year-old gelding Colonel Courtney.

Offield claimed Colonel Courtney from an Oct. 1 win for this same $25,000 tag. It was the third time this year the horse has been claimed for that price. He was claimed a fourth time for $32,000.

Colonel Courtney has won 13 of 43 starts, earning $187,301.

Olympic Miler was claimed out of the same race, running fourth that day despite trouble early and late. He has already come back, running third as the favorite for a $35,000 tag. He has been claimed three times this year.

Captain Dennis was also a $25,000 claim in his last start on Sept. 17.

Pragmatico, fifth behind Olympic Miler last out, was claimed for $20,000 two starts back. He has been claimed five times this year in addition to his final start in 2005.