03/30/2006 1:00AM

Lawanda looks best in Oaks


PORTLAND, Ore. - Four stakes winners will vie for divisional honors in Saturday's $10,000-added Oregon Oaks at Portland Meadows, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies that has drawn a field of six.

Two of the stakes winners - Mt. St. Helens heroine Lawanda, and Janet Wineberg winner Cascades Express - will race as an entry for owners Allen Floyd and Jonathan Nance. Nance, who also trains the entry, said that his main hope rests with Lawanda.

"I don't think Cascades Express can win it with Lawanda in there," he said. "Lawanda is just a much better horse, especially around two turns."

Lawanda, a daughter of Pioneering, won the one-mile Mt. St. Helens by a resounding nine lengths over Cascades Express. She was then upset by Royal Snowflight in the six-furlong Ms. Stakes before running second to the top 3-year-old male on the grounds, Tom Two, in a one-mile invitational handicap on Feb. 26,

Royal Snowflight, who won the six-furlong Lassie Stakes as well as the Ms., will try to upset Lawanda again. She prepped for the Oaks in the same invitational handicap as Lawanda, finishing third, 10 3/4 lengths behind Tom Two and 8 1/2 lengths behind Lawanda.

The field's final stakes winner is Fettles Klan, who exploded onto the scene with an 8 1/4-length victory in the March 4 Mary Goldblatt, which was her first attempt at a mile.

"I was anxious to run her at a mile last time, and I'm even more excited to try her at 1 1/16 miles," said trainer Ben Root.