Updated on 09/16/2011 6:46AM

'Leader' shoots for third in row


PORTLAND, Ore. - Future Leader figures to be a short price when he takes on seven rivals in Sunday's eighth at Portland Meadows, a six-furlong race for older $8,000 claimers who have never won three races.

Future Leader appears to have found a home in the Northwest after failing to make an impact through his first eight starts in Southern California.

The 6-year-old finished second against maiden special weight company in his local debut on

Jan. 6, then scored back-to-back victories over straight maidens and allowance runners in his next two outings. The allowance win came just a week ago, when he beat the talented Murdock and Tomtom Tommalice, a multiple stakes winner, going six furlongs in a rapid 1:12.45.

Leading rider Felipe Valdez, who was up for both of Future Leader's scores, again has the call

from trainer Brandon Porter at 122 pounds.

The most likely upsetter could be Time To Be Cute, who made a splash here three winters ago when he won his first two career outings by daylight margins. Time To Be Cute went to the sidelines after his second victory in January 1999 and failed to beat a horse in two widely spaced comeback attempts. Nevertheless, he has trained forwardly of late for trainer Terry Sandberg and may be ready to fulfill his early promise.

The entry of Go Salem By and Imus, owned and trained by Ryland Harwood, could also score an upset, as both horses have proven competitive against $8,000 company.

Unlike other West Coast tracks, Portland Meadows will race during Sunday afternoon's Super Bowl, running 12 live races beginning at 1 p.m.

for entries.

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