04/07/2005 12:00AM

Demon Warlock's the heavy


PORTLAND, Ore. - Demon Warlock will carry high weight of 124 pounds when he takes on seven other local handicap stars in Saturday's $20,000 Portland Meadows Mile.

Demon Warlock, a 5-year-old son of Demons Begone from the barn of trainer Terry Gillihan, comes off a sensational 4-year-old campaign in which he won 6 of 11 starts, including victories in the Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup and the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic at Emerald Downs. In perhaps his best effort of the year, Demon Warlock ran second to Adreamisborn in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

Demon Warlock has run twice this year, both times at Bay Meadows, finishing fourth in a six-furlong allowance race and in the six-furlong San Carlos Handicap on March 26.

"I thought he ran okay in both of those races," said Gillihan. "Neither one really set up for him, and he was a little farther back than I wanted him to be in both of them."

Demon Warlock will be teamed for the first time on Saturday with Gary Baze, who will be seeking the 3,353rd win of his stellar career.

The top locally raced challengers are My Friend Dave, Crimson Design, and Knightsbridge Road, all of whom are coming out of the six-furlong Governor's Speed Handicap on March 19.

My Friend Dave won the Governor's Speed by two lengths in 1:11.40. My Friend Dave, a 5-year-old son of Can't Be Slew who is trained by Corky Caron, notched his third straight win after taking a pair of invitational handicaps at a mile and 1 1/16 miles, and he boasts a career mark of 6 victories from 15 starts. Regular rider Jose Zunino will have the mount at 120 pounds.

Crimson Design, a stakes winner last year at Emerald Downs, ran second after a troubled trip in the Governor's Speed.

"He hopped in the air at the start and it sort of put him out of position," said trainer Jim Fergason. "He still made the lead in the stretch, but then he started looking around. I'm hoping he'll be a little more focused this time."

Knightsbridge Road ran fourth in the Governor's Speed, but it was his first start of the year and the race was at a distance that is shy of his best.

The Donna Jensen Handicap for older fillies and mares was also to be run on Saturday's card, but the race was called off when only three horses were entered.