04/01/2005 1:00AM

Not coming 2,000 miles for nothing


PORTLAND, Ore. - Texas trainer K.C. Carden will pay a second visit to Portland Meadows on Sunday to saddle a pair of Quarter Horses for the $13,000 Professionals Choice Claiming Challenge at 350 yards.

If Carden's first visit was any indication, bettors should take notice. Last year Carden vanned a pair of runners the 2,387 miles from Manor Downs in Texas to Portland Meadows and saw them run one-two in the same race, with A Toast of Kc winning and Dusty Corona running second.

For this year's Professionals Choice Claiming Challenge, which is one of 10 qualifying heats at

10 different tracks for a $75,000 championship to be run in the fall, Carden will send out the entry of My Special Easy Dash and Alota Bud.

My Special Easy Dash, a 6-year-old by My Reckless Dreams, has posted 6 wins from 26 starts, with the most recent victory coming in a 550-yard event for $4,000 claimers at Sam Houston last May. He has not raced since last July and he shows only one recent work, but he will be ridden by Cory McDaniel, who flew in from Texas to ride A Toast of Kc to victory in last year's renewal.

Alota Bud last scored in August at Sunray Park in New Mexico, defeating $4,000 rivals at 350 yards for his third career victory. He has not raced since October, and like his entrymate he shows only one recent workout. Twyla Beckner will ride.

The Carden-trained entry faces six challengers.