03/03/2005 1:00AM

Quartern has a new challenge


PORTLAND, Ore. - Quartern will attempt to stretch her speed to a mile on Saturday when she takes on nine other Oregon-bred 3-year-old fillies, including a trio of stablemates, in the $8,000 Mary Goldblatt Stakes.

Quartern, a daughter of Danjur from the barn of trainer Ben Root, has been little short of spectacular through four starts at the meeting. After winning a maiden race by seven lengths in her debut, Quartern finished a close fourth when meeting more seasoned foes in the six-furlong Jane Driggers Debutante on Oregon Championship Day, Dec. 11. She atoned for the loss with daylight wins in the OTBA Stallion Stakes and the Ms. Stakes, both at six furlongs, in her last two engagements.

Quartern, who races for Al and Jodi Peterson, has finished strongly in all of her sprints, and her connections have high hopes that she will handle another quarter-mile under regular rider Twyla Beckner.

Quartern may get her sternest challenge from One Fast Cowgirl, who is one of three other Root trainees in the Goldblatt. One Fast Cowgirl has placed in three stakes at the meeting, but she was beaten nearly eight lengths by Quartern when second in the Ms. Stakes.

Gordys Sweet Jordy and My Emy My Amy will also be saddled by Root.

Also dangerous is Secret Victory, a daughter of Tiffany Ice who is trained by Bob Beckner. Secret Victory finished a distant third in the Ms., but that was her first outing since December.