01/07/2005 12:00AM

Beluga Star boasts three wins in row


PORTLAND, Ore. - Beluga Star will shoulder an impost of 128 pounds when he heads a field of eight older Quarter Horses in Sunday's $6,000-added Directors Handicap at 350 yards.

Under jockey Tim Neal, Beluga Star will attempt to win his fourth straight stakes for owner Juan Leon and trainer Gary Klinger. The 8-year-old Beluga Star is coming off a track-record performance in the Candy Cane Handicap on Dec. 17, when he sped 880 yards in 46.06 seconds. He won the 350-yard Autumn Handicap and the 400-yard Columbia River Handicap in his two previous starts at the meeting.

Beluga Star figures to receive challenges from Farm City Rip, who has won nine of her 15 career starts, and Mr Eye Will, who ran second to In Search of Fame in last year's renewal of the Directors.

* The Thoroughbred feature, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for older sprinters, will mark the return of Scarem, who posted two impressive wins in as many starts here last March. Scarem, a 4-year-old, has not raced since, but has posted a pair of recent workouts for trainer Nick Chalich.

Scarem will take on five rivals, including recent allowance winner Freedom Fair, who led throughout to defeat nonwinners of two by 1 1/2 lengths on Dec. 13.

* The track set what is believed to be a handle record on last Monday's program, when $910,979 was wagered on the nine-race card. Of that amount, $861,212 was bet from outside the state.