02/14/2003 12:00AM

Stareaux finally gets two turns


PORTLAND, Ore. - Stareaux will get the distance she needs when she takes on nine other older fillies and mares in Sunday's $10,000 Sweetheart Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Portland Meadows.

Stareaux, a 5-year-old daughter of Northern Park, won a pair of mile races here last season and finished a creditable fourth in the nine-furlong Belle Roberts Handicap last September at Emerald Downs. But she has not yet had an opportunity to go around two turns at this meeting.

The late-running Stareaux closed smartly for third in the six-furlong Diane Kem Handicap in November and tuned up with a closing fourth against allowance runners in a six-furlong race on Feb. 2. She should appreciate the added distance on Sunday, when she will carry 120 pounds under the Sweetheart's revised weight-for-age conditions.

Stareaux figures to face stiff challenges from Dancing Eyes and Callie Mae, the one-two finishers in a mile allowance race run here on Jan. 31. Dancing Eyes prevailed by nearly two lengths in her second allowance win at the meeting, but her regular rider, Juan Gutierrez, has elected to ride Stareaux. Ron Keckler will ride Dancing Eyes.

Stately's Choice is another threat off her last two races, a three-length allowance win at a mile on Jan. 10 and a closing second to the speedy Wegota Slewzy in a six-furlong allowance Jan. 20. In that most recent outing, Stately's Choice outfinished Dancing Eyes by more than

two lengths. As a 4-year-old,

Stately's Choice will get in under 119 pounds with regular rider Amir Cedeno in the irons.

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