01/10/2002 1:00AM

Lovers Son seeks third straight victory


PORTLAND, Ore. - Lovers Son, who upset the heavily favored Tomtom Tommalice when last seen in the Oregon Sprint Championship on Dec. 15, will seek a third straight win when he takes on seven tough allowance rivals in Saturday's six-furlong feature at Portland Meadows.

Lovers Son, a 5-year-old son of Rob An Plunder who races for Col. Julian McFadden, defeated $8,000 claimers at 5 1/2 furlongs, then scored his first stakes win, in the six-furlong Sprint Championship. In that race he stalked the pace of multiple stakes winner Tomtom Tommalice, then outgamed that one in a prolonged stretch duel to win by a neck in 1:13.40.

An Naabi has traded decisions with Lovers Son in two match-ups at this meet and poses the sternest threat to the probable favorite.

An Naabi scored a 1 1/2-length win against Lovers Son in a five-furlong dash Nov. 3 and then finished fifth against that rival in his prep for the Sprint Championship. An Naabi was not eligible for the Oregon Sprint Championship, but raced the next day, Dec. 16, and scored an impressive four-length win over $10,000 claimers with six furlongs in 1:14.64.

Charity Line, who ran third to An Naabi on Dec. 16, could be a sleeper in Saturday's feature. Charity Line was at a disadvantage facing a potent closer's bias that day, but held gamely after dueling with Capable Quest through fast fractions. Charity Line is the apparent speed of Saturday's cast and could be difficult to overhaul on a neutral surface.

Other threats include Murdock and Primer Cord, both coming off daylight wins in fast times in restricted company.