03/31/2006 1:00AM

Carden going after three-peat


PORTLAND, Ore. - Texas-based trainer K.C. Carden will shoot for a third straight victory in the Professional's Choice Claiming Challenge on Sunday, when he sends out No Options Mister against nine other Quarter Horses at 350 yards at Portland Meadows.

Carden shipped A Toast to Kc here to win the inaugural edition of the race in 2004, and he returned last year to win with My Special Easy Dash.

The Professional's Choice Claiming Challenge has a purse of $19,710 and will be run under $5,000 starter allowance conditions. It serves as one of 10 qualifying heats around the country for the $75,000 Professional's Choice Claiming Challenge Championship, to be run in the fall.

Sunday's race marks No Options Mister's second start at Portland Meadows. He shipped in from Manson Downs in Texas to get a prep over the track in the 440-yard Portland Meadows Championship on Feb. 19. No Options Mister finished third to My Crowning Glory before shipping back to Texas to prepare for Sunday's engagement.

Other horsemen from outside the state have followed Carden's lead in shipping horses here for the qualifying race. The field of 10 includes two horses who last started at Los Alamitos, one from Turf Paradise, and one from Wyoming.

The top local entrant is the Scott Raley-trained One Royal Prince, who will be shooting for his fourth straight win.