11/21/2002 1:00AM

Favorite must lug 130 pounds


PORTLAND, Ore. - In Search of Fame will concede from eight to

12 pounds to five rivals on Saturday, when he shoulders an imposing 130 pounds in the Columbia River Handicap for older Quarter Horses at 400 yards.

Despite the weight, which is the highest he has ever been assigned, In Search of Fame figures to be a very short price because of his record of 20 wins from 35 outings for earnings of more than $100,000. In Search of Fame, a 6-year-old son of Dash Ta Fame who races for the Victory Group Inc., boasts an even more impressive record at Portland Meadows, where he has won 17 of 19 starts with a second and a third. The James Glenn Jr.-trained In Search of Fame is coming off a neck win over Mayhegobuggy in the 350-yard Autumn Handicap on Oct. 27, when he carried 128 pounds.

As was the case in the Autumn Handicap, In Search of Fame will have to break from the sometimes disadvantageous inside post on Saturday, when he will be ridden by Don Sandoval.

In Search of Fame could receive his sternest challenge from Jjs Dashing, an upset winner of the Portland Meadows Fall Derby in his last outing here on Nov. 10, when he sped to a 1 1/2-length victory with 400 yards in 20.79 seconds. That was the sixth win from 19 starts for Jjs Dashing, a 3-year-old son of Pritzi Dash who races for Jimmie Easter.

Trainer Mark Garrison has named Edgar Montehermoso to ride Jjs Dashing at 122 pounds, and Jjs Dashing will break from the outside post in the field of six.

The Columbia River will go as the fourth of 11 live races on Saturday's card.