01/14/2004 12:00AM

Mr. Will Eye takes on familiar foes


PORTLAND, Ore. - The $6,000 Directors Handicap for older Quarter Horses at 350 yards, which was postponed a week ago because of frigid weather, will head a nine-race card when racing resumes at Portland Meadows on Friday.

Mr. Will Eye, who upset In Search of Fame in the 400-yard Columbia River Handicap here Dec. 5, will be out to show that the victory was not an aberration. Mr. Will Eye, a 4-year-old from the barn of trainer John Harris, proved a head better than Beluga Star in the Columbia River, and In Search of Fame finished another nose back as the 6-5 favorite. The win was Mr. Will Eye's third stakes victory and improved his record to nine wins from 18 starts. Jockey Joe Crispin will have the mount at 124 pounds.

In Search of Fame remains the highweight at 127 pounds despite his recent loss, which was just his sixth from 27 starts at Portland Meadows. In Search of Fame drew the normally disadvantageous rail post for the Directors, but trainer James Glenn Jr. considers In Search of Fame an excellent rail runner and was not dismayed. Danny Boag will take over the mount.

Beluga Star will also return for the Directors after splitting Mr. Will Eye and In Search of Fame in the Columbia River. Beluga Star captured the 350-yard Autumn Handicap here in October, and he is coming off a second in the 870-yard Candy Cane Handicap on Dec. 26. Luis Morgan rides at 123 pound.

The field of 11 includes the entry of Zippy Chilli Pepper and Jacks Honor, who both are trained by Harris.