02/04/2004 1:00AM

Allowance easier spot for star


PORTLAND, Ore. - In Search of Fame, a local legend with 22 wins from 28 starts at Portland Meadows, will be a strong favorite when he heads a field of five older Quarter Horses in Friday's 400-yard allowance feature.

In Search of Fame, an 8-year-old from the barn of trainer James Glenn Jr., was upset by the up-and- coming Mr Eye Will in the 400-yard Columbia River Handicap on Dec. 5, prompting speculation he may finally be showing his age. He squelched such talk in the 350-yard Director's Handicap on Jan. 16, edging the younger Mr Eye Will by a nose despite toting high weight of 127 pounds.

In Search of Fame gets in with 124 pounds under the allowance conditions of Friday's headliner, and he will not have to meet Mr Eye Will.

The main threat to In Search of Fame could come from Dot of Honor, who is coming off an extraordinary effort at 870 yards. Dot of Honor, a 7-year-old trained by John Harris, defeated allowance company by a widening 10 1/4 lengths here on Jan. 3. Though perhaps best around a turn, Dot of Honor won a pair of straightaway races at last year's meet, defeating $5,000 and $7,500 rivals at 440 yards.

Friday's best Thoroughbred offering matches Ashleys Attitude and Miss Ondatop in a $3,200 claiming race for fillies and mares at 4 1/2 furlongs. Ashleys Attitude is coming off a game score over $4,000 company at six furlongs on Jan. 24, while Miss Ondatop won three in a row before finishing fourth to $3,200 rivals at a mile on Dec. 27.

Friday's nine-race card gets under way at 7 p.m.