12/07/2001 12:00AM

Streaking Barmara tries route

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Barmara will attempt to stretch her considerable speed over two turns Sunday when she heads a field of nine fillies and mares in the featured ninth race at Portland Meadows, a $4,000 starter allowance race at a mile.

Barmara, a 4-year-old daughter of Warfield, has been a hot item at the claim box of late and understandably so. She dispatched $4,000 rivals by 4 1/2 lengths while racing 5 1/2 furlongs for trainer Pat Sonnen on Nov. 17, when she was claimed by trainer John Guidos. She then beat $5,000 foes by 3 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong race on Dec. 2, when she was claimed by trainer Delmer Webb.

The speedy Barmara has never raced at a route distance, but she has been winning with energy to spare, and it is a positive sign that Webb enters her in a race from which she cannot be claimed on Sunday.

Another recent claim, Little Ballerina, figures to challenge Barmara through the stretch. Little Ballerina, a 5-year-old daughter of Moscow Ballet, came from well back to defeat $3,200 company by 1 1/2 lengths in her local debut for trainer Terry Clyde on Nov. 24, when she ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07.42.

Trainer Jonathan Nance claimed her out of that race, for owners Allen Floyd and Jack Guier, and stretches her out to a route distance, which she handled well at Hastings Park. In her last three starts at Hastings, Little Ballerina ran third at 1 1/8 miles and third and second at 1 1/16 miles against $4,000 claiming company.