12/06/2003 12:00AM

Dropping Les Crime one to beat


PORTLAND, Ore. - Les Crime will be the one to beat in Monday's feature at Portland Meadows, a $10,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs.

Les Crime, a 3-year-old son of Really Golden trained by Roger Stevenson, is stepping down off a pair of highly creditable seconds against allowance company. He was beaten just a half-length by stakes winner Cee Cruiser in his seasonal debut at 5 1/2 furlongs on Oct. 27, then finished a little more than seven lengths behind Slewacide Cruise at six furlongs on Nov. 10. Slewacide Cruise flattered that effort when he came back to run third to older rivals in the Thanksgiving Handicap here last Friday.

Les Crime will be ridden by Joe Crispin at 118 pounds.

French Season finished less than three lengths behind Les Crime when fourth to Slewacide Cruise in the Nov. 10 allowance and may be capable of closing the gap. French Season, who was claimed by owner and trainer Mel Davis for $5,000 in his previous outing, won at the $10,000 level here last season and finished a competitive third in the Oregon Derby. Duane D'Amico again has the call at 118 pounds.

Another possibility is Blast of Class, who may be quickest of several front-runners in the competitive field of eight. Blast of Class, trained by A. Mark Jones, showed the way for $6,250 company before settling for second and third in two prior starts at the meet and should again be prominent throughout under Melissa Peery at 120 pounds.

Monday's feature will go as the eighth of nine live races, with first post slated for 1:35 p.m.