01/29/2003 12:00AM

Nichole's Delight is back


PORTLAND, Ore. - Nichole's Delight, an impressive 6 1/4-length winner of the one-mile Oregon Hers Stakes Dec. 14 in her last race at Portland Meadows, returns to take on allowance rivals at the same distance in Friday's featured eighth race for older fillies and mares.

Nichole's Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Jeff's Companion who races for breeder George Hurliman, shipped here from Turf Paradise and took the Oregon Hers. She then returned to Phoenix and posted a six-length triumph over $12,500 claiming runners at six furlongs on Jan. 17, and now returns to her native state.

Trainer Nick Lowe is pointing Nichole's Delight to the 1 1/16-mile Sweetheart Stakes on Feb. 16 and may be using Friday's race as a tune-up.

Despite her sharp form, Nichole's Delight could be vulnerable owing to her travel schedule and post assignment. The filly drew the outside post 10, and will need to break sharply to avoid losing ground on the first turn, which comes up quickly at a mile.

Callie Mae, who finished a distant second when favored in the Hers, which was for 3-year-old fillies, will be out to make amends on Friday. Callie Mae posted back-to-back allowance wins before being upset in the Hers, and finished her 3-year-old season with five wins, including four at a mile, from 15 starts.

Tiffa, a 5-year-old who won the Oregon Hers here 13 months ago, is a serious threat. Though winless since her stakes win, Tiffa is coming off a pair of creditable thirds in allowance routes and will be making her critical third start after a layoff on Friday.

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