09/02/2004 12:00AM

The queen of Portland returns

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AUBURN, Wash. - Quiz the Maid, who was named the best of her division at the most recent Portland Meadows meeting, will take on seven other 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's 6 1/2-furlong feature for $20,000 claiming runners at Emerald Downs.

Quiz the Maid, a daughter of Basket Weave from the barn of trainer Jim Fergason, won four of her six starts at the Portland Meadows stand, including victories in the six-furlong Lassie Stakes, the six-furlong Ms. Stakes, and the one-mile Mount St. Helens Stakes. She finished second to Kya Joe in the 1 1/16-mile Oregon Oaks on April 17 and has not raced since, but she has been in steady training since June and appears ready for a representative try.

Quiz the Maid will likely yield the favorite's role to another class dropper, Strong Faith. Strong Faith, a maiden special weight winner in her only start here last season, has not won in five starts at this meet. She twice ran second against $40,000 optional claiming company, and ran third in the one-mile Irish Day Handicap on June 13. Strong Faith, who is trained by Tim McCanna, has not raced since finishing sixth in the Kent Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 18, but she posted an extremely fast half-mile drill in 45.20 seconds just last Saturday.

Also dangerous is Time for Magic, a winner going six furlongs the last time she ran at the $20,000 claiming level, on May 13. Time for Magic was claimed out of that race. In her last race, she ran fourth for a $32,000 tag going six furlongs on Aug. 21.