06/23/2008 11:00PM

Top Threat goes longer in claimer

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AUBURN, Wash. - Top Threat will drop into a likely spot when he heads a field of eight in Thursday's feature, a mile test for $7,500 claimers who have never won two races.

Top Threat, a 4-year-old son of He's Tops from the barn of trainer Dan Markle, is coming off a closing fourth-place effort against $12,500 rivals at six furlongs on May 31. That race has proven productive, as both the victorious He's Always Right and sixth-place finisher Spitfire Slew came back to win with Beyer Speed Figures of 65 and 73, respectively.

Top Threat will be stretching out for the first time this year, but in his final race as a 3-year-old he finished second, beaten less than a length by Adevilgetshisdue, in a one-mile allowance test run in 1:36.80. Anything resembling that effort would be hard to deny Thursday, when Top Threat will be ridden by Ricky Frazier.

The most formidable challenger might be Bankers Year, a 6-year-old trained by Sharon Ross. Bankers Year finished a solid third to open $7,500 claimers two races back on May 24, and off that effort he was bet down to 6-5 when entered under Thursday's conditions on June 7.

However, Bankers Year broke awkwardly to get away behind the field that day and he compounded his disadvantage by racing extremely wide around both turns before finishing a distant fourth. Gary Baze will take over the mount Thursday.