01/24/2004 12:00AM

Debutante's top two set for rematch


PORTLAND, Ore. - Belle Fourche and Wampum Wager, the top two finishers in the Jane Driggers Debutante here on Oregon-bred Day, Dec. 13, will head a field of six 3-year-old fillies in Monday's six-furlong allowance feature at Portland Meadows.

In the Jane Driggers, which was also contested at six furlongs, Belle Fourche broke on top from the outside post and widened at every pole to score by nearly four lengths. It was the first win for Belle Fourche, a daughter of Baquero from the barn of trainer Ben Root, but she had finished second to maiden special weight company in two of her three previous starts.

Wampum Wager raced in second position throughout in the Driggers to finish 2 1/2 lengths in front of Kya Jo, who returned to win her next out in the OTBA Stallion Stakes on Jan. 3. In her prior outing on Dec. 6, Wampum Wager posted an impressive 5 3/4-length score over maiden special weight company at 5 1/2 furlongs.

A possible upsetter Monday is Soon Be Gone, who posted a smart victory over maiden special weight company in her career debut on Dec. 20. Soon Be Gone, a Washington-bred daughter of Slewdledo, came from just off the pace under Joe Crispin to score by 3 1/2 lengths. The Ed Walsh-trained Soon Be Gone came back with a best-of-seven workout on Jan. 19, covering five furlongs in 1:02.60, and could take a strong step forward in her second career outing.

Also a threat is Lace Knighty, a maiden winner at Emerald Downs who is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Corte Madera Stakes at Golden Gate on Dec. 27.