07/31/2007 11:00PM

Winning pair meet in round 2


AUBURN, Wash. - Crowning Event and Flip Flop Fly, who won divisions of the first leg of the Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Marathon Championship Series here July 13, will clash head on in round two of the series on Friday.

Unlike the first leg of the series, which was run at 1 1/8 miles under $7,500 claiming conditions, the second leg will be run under $7,500 starter allowance conditions at 1 1/4 miles. Ten contestants, who all ran in the first leg, will vie for a purse of $15,000.

Crowning Event, a 5-year-old son of Event of the Year, was claimed out of his win in the second half of the split first leg by trainer Charles Essex for his father, Dean Essex. Crowing Event won the faster of the two divisions in 1:49.80 and is expected to be favored on that basis. He will be shooting for his fourth straight win and will again have the riding services of Ricky Frazier, who also rode Flip Flop Fly to his July 13 victory. Crowning Event will carry 121 pounds.

Kevin Radke will inherit the mount on Flip Flop Fly at 119 pounds. Flip Flop Fly, who won his division in 1:51, was also claimed from his last race. He went to trainer Blaine Wright and owner Fred Desimone. Flip Flop Fly, a winner of five races here last season, will be trying for his third win in a row.

Also dangerous is Boomslang, who was beaten just a nose by Flip Flop Fly on July 13. Boomslang is stoutly bred, being a half-brother to marathon star Cantil, and may benefit the most from Friday's added distance.