11/23/2007 12:00AM

'Cryptic' enjoying solid meet

EmailPORTLAND, Ore. - Cryptic Memo will be the one to catch and beat in Sunday's top offering at Portland Meadows, a six-furlong test for $6,250 to $5,000 fillies and mares that has drawn a field of five.

Cryptic Memo, a speedy daughter of Memo from the barn of trainer Nick Lowe, has been right there at the finish in all three of her outings at the meeting. She posted a second and a win against $3,200 rivals in her first two starts, then held second after showing the way to the deep stretch when matched against $5,000 foes at six furlongs on Nov. 11. She will have the services of hot-riding jockey Kevin Radke at 117 pounds.

Cryptic Memo figures to get a stern challenge from Strawberriesinjune, who is dropping in class in an attempt to regain the sharp form she displayed here last season. Strawberriesinjune, a 4-year-old daughter of Jumron trained by Jonathan Nance, won two handicaps here last winter and spring, then captured an allowance race at Assiniboia Downs before going to the sidelines in June. In two starts at the current stand, she was second against $8,000 company before finishing ninth behind Bellamente in the Diane Kem Handicap on Nov. 11. Clark Jones is set to ride at 120 pounds.

Also dangerous is Wine at Dawn, who defeated Strawberriesinjune when racing on the $8,000 level on Oct. 23, then fell a length shy of catching Cryptic Memo when entered for a $5,000 tag in her last start on Nov. 11.