Updated on 09/16/2011 6:42AM

Mare back at distance she craves


PORTLAND, Ore. - Westerholme will return to her best distance in Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day feature at Portland Meadows, a mile affair for fillies and mares eligible to be claimed for $4,000, and for that reason stands a good chance to return to the winner's circle.

Westerholme, who is facing seven rivals, is coming off a closing fourth against $4,000 claimers at six furlongs Dec. 29, but she posted half-length wins over $3,200 types at a mile in both of her two prior efforts. For her career, Westerholme boasts a record of three wins and a second from five tries at one mile. Trainer Mel White has tabbed Juan Gutierrez to ride Westerholme, a 7-year-old Noholme Way mare who figures to benefit from a brisk pace with several front-runners in the field.

Salty Looker, who is coming off a mile win at the $4,000 level Dec. 29, and Toogoodforthewife, who has won two of her last three outings at six furlongs, figure to test the likely favorite. Both of those runners have been meeting restricted company, however, and they may need to step up their games to compete effectively with multiple winners.

Here's Rosie, a good second to Westerholme in a mile race on Dec. 1, may pose the most serious threat to the probable favorite. Here's Rosie, a 5-year-old from the barn of Jim Keen, has been unplaced in two subsequent starts, but the first was at six furlongs, and the most recent came against tough starter allowance foes.