12/03/2003 12:00AM

In Search of Fame heads field

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PORTLAND, Ore. - In Search of Fame will accept a highweight assignment of 128 pounds when he takes on 10 challengers in Friday's Quarter Horse version of the Columbia River Handicap, which will be run at 400 yards for a purse of $6,000-added.

In Search of Fame, a 7-year-old from the barn of James Glenn Jr., has an admirable career record of 24 wins from 40 starts, including a remarkable 21 wins from 26 starts at Portland Meadows. He returned from a lengthy layoff on Nov. 8 and showed no rust, defeating allowance rivals by nearly a length and covering 300 yards in 15.89 seconds, just 0.34 of a second off the track record.

In Search of Fame, who figures to be a strong favorite, will break from post 3 under Bob Webb, who was up for his most recent score.

In Search of Fame could get his strongest challenge from Mr Eye Will, a John Harris trainee who has been racing against top company at Los Alamitos. Mr Eye Will, a 3-year-old son of Mr Eye Opener, finished fifth of seven in an allowance event and eighth of nine in a $175,000 stakes in his two tries at Los Al. Prior to those efforts, he won 8 of 15 starts in Oregon, Washington, and Canada, amassing $44,267 in earnings.

Harris, who will also saddle Dot of Honor and Oh Bobbette in the Columbia River, has named Joe Crispin to ride Mr Eye Will at 122 pounds.

Also dangerous is Beluga Star, who will carry Luis Morgan at 123 pounds. Beluga Star, from the barn of trainer Gary Klinger, was a neck winner of the 350-yard Autumn Handicap here on Oct. 25.