01/24/2002 1:00AM

Stretchout gets help from post


PORTLAND, Ore. - Victor Lehman will attempt to make it two in a row when he takes on five rivals in the featured eighth race at Portland Meadows on Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile event for older $5,000 claimers.

Victor Lehman, an accomplished sprinter at Hastings Park, attempted a mile for the first time on Jan. 6 and took an immediate liking to the distance.

A 5-year-old, Victor Lehman went to the front at the start under Clark Jones and held sway throughout, scoring by a length over the fast-finishing Tissington in 1:41.81.

Jones will again ride on Saturday at 120 pounds, and he will have the advantage of the rail post as he tries to coax another sixteenth of a mile out of his mount.

Four of Victor Lehman's Saturday rivals finished behind him on Jan. 6, but Tissington and Our Sleep Robber, who finished third, produced strong efforts and would not need dramatic improvement to reverse the outcome.

Another also-ran in the Jan. 6 event, Spit'N Nickles, figures to show more, as she came right back to post a confidence-building 3 1/2-length victory over $2,500 foes over a mile on Jan. 12.

The lone runner who has yet to face Victor Lehman is Eyes Sucha Delight, who is also the only mare in Saturday's field.

A 5-year-old daughter of Dr. Dan Eyes, she is coming off a victory over restricted $4,000 fillies and mares at a mile on Dec. 22, when she led throughout en route to a gaudy 14 1/2-length score in 1:42.88.

Though she is meeting much tougher company on Saturday, she can at least have a say in the outcome by preventing Victor Lehman from securing an easy lead.

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