10/22/2002 11:00PM

Shipper looks set for a win

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PORTLAND, Ore. - California invader Strike the Chord will be the one to beat in the featured eighth race at Portland Meadows on Friday, a 5 1/2-furlong race for older $4,000 runners who have not won a recognized race since May 1.

Strike the Chord, who will have six challengers, has not won in nine starts this year but has been close to tougher rivals on several occasions. Just two races back, on Sept. 20, Strike the Chord dueled to the deep stretch against open $3,200 company at Bay Meadows before yielding late to finish second, beaten three lengths, in 1:10.17 for six furlongs. Off that good effort he was made the even-money choice against $4,000 sprinters at Fresno on Oct. 9, but tired badly to finish sixth. Strike the Chord, a 4-year-old trained by Dan Tanory, may be able to sprint clear under rider Marijo Terleski on Friday, in which case he figures to be hard to overhaul at the abbreviated distance.

Strike the Chord could get his toughest competition from Jazzaroo, who fits Friday's conditions to a T. Jazzaroo won four early this year, but has not scored while posting solid efforts in four starts since May 1 at Turf Paradise and Arapahoe Park in Colorado. He, too, is coming off a disappointing effort as the even-money favorite against $3,200 company at Arapahoe on July 21, but trainer Terry Fergason, who claimed him that day, has given Jazzaroo a lengthy freshening and he has trained strongly for his return to action.

Also dangerous is Capable Quest, a 15-time career winner with a proven affinity for the Portland Meadows surface.

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