09/19/2003 11:00PM

Two appear toughest in finale

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AUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs will close its 92-day meeting on Monday with an 11-race card slated to get under way at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than the usual first post for weekdays.

The day's top offering is a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds eligible to be claimed for $32,000 to $25,000, which has drawn a competitive field of eight.

Dark Intent and Right You Are are dropping from a $50,000 optional claiming event on

Aug. 23, when they ran fourth and fifth, and could be the ones to beat.

Dark Intent, a Regal Intention gelding from the barn of trainer Larry Hoksbergen, dead-heated for the win against $50,000 optional claimers going six furlongs in July and would be difficult to deny with a repeat of that effort. He was a respectable fourth to allowance runners on Aug. 9 and has been generally competitive with better company all season.

Right You Are scored at the $25,000 level before running fifth last time out, when he finished just a half-length behind Dark Intent. That was the fifth career win for Right You Are, whose knack for finding the finish line might be key in a field in which no other horse has won more than twice.

The sleeper in Monday's field might be Linear Lights, who dead-heated with Dark Intent for the win on July 19, when both were clocked in 1:09.80.

Linear Lights, a speedy son of Delineator from the barn of Terry Gillihan, came back to run sixth in an allowance on Aug. 9 and has not been seen since in the afternoon. He has posted three strong interim works, however, and has a history of running well fresh.