05/08/2002 12:00AM

Sir Radar has several advantages


AUBURN, Wash. - Sir Radar will attempt to step up and repeat when he heads a field of six older sprinters, each eligible to be claimed for $25,000 or $20,000, in Friday's six-furlong feature at Emerald Downs.

Friday's feature is for horses who have never won two races, but maiden races and claiming races for $16,000 or less are not considered for eligibility. Sir Radar, who has won 4 of 16 starts for part-owner and trainer Claude Gibson, gets in because his first win came against maidens, and his next three came against $12,500, $10,000, and $16,000 company.

The win over $16,000 rivals came in Sir Radar's seasonal debut on April 25, when he led throughout to score by three-quarters of a length in a fast 1:02.80 for 5 1/2 furlongs. Sir Radar is the only recent winner in Friday's field and one of only three who have started this year. He figures to be favored on the basis of fitness and current form.

Two others in the feature have frequently beaten lesser, as Capable of Passion boasts five wins from 10 lifetime starts and High Tailing has won 5 of 14 outings. Both will be starting for the first time since September, but both gave strong performances off the bench last season and rank as the most likely upsetters.

Hamilton Island is also dangerous despite having won just once in 15 tries. Hamilton Island, a 5-year-old gelding, was stakes placed here at 2 and 3 before belatedly winning for the first time against $25,000 maidens at Santa Anita in October 2000. He sat out last year with an injury, but has been training sharply.

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