04/13/2004 11:00PM

Beluga Star escapes main foes

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Beluga Star will head a field of five older Quarter Horses in Friday's Mayor's Cup, an 870-yard test with a purse of $6,000-added.

Beluga Star, a 7-year-old son of Juno Dat Cash from the barn of trainer Gary Klinger, is coming off a third-place finish behind In Search of Fame and Mr Eye Will in the 350-yard Director's Handicap on Jan. 16. Those two cost Beluga Star dearly last year, as In Search of Fame beat him a half-length in the 2003 Director's Handicap and Mr Eye Will beat him a head in the Columbia River Handicap in December. Neither nemesis is entered in the Mayor's Cup.

Beluga Star won last season's Mayor's Cup by a resounding seven lengths over Shoestring Martini, and he won the Oct. 25 Autumn Handicap at this meeting by a neck over Our Hope Too.

Beluga Star's main opposition may come from Dash of Fame, who defeated allowance runners by a length in his first try at 870 yards in February. The 4-year-old Dash of Fame won three races here in 2003, including the Portland Meadows Quarter Horse Derby.

Dats Cashabull, Won Ton Dulley, and Tricky Darling round out the field.

Dats Cashabull and Tricky Darling are coming off victories at 870 yards on March 26. Dats Cashabull beat $4,000 claiming company and Tricky Darling bested allowance rivalsWon Ton Dulley finished second to Dats Cashabull in his seasonal debut on March 26. Last summer, he won twice going 610 yards at Prineville. Won Ton Dulley carries low weight of 120 pounds and will be getting five pounds from the highweight, Beluga Star.