01/09/2002 12:00AM

Superfecta on finale; pick 3 out


PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Meadows will return to racing three days a week on Friday, when the track will offer 10 live races stocked with 103 runners.

Friday's card will inaugurate a slightly revamped wagering schedule. The nightcap, one of three races on the program with 12-horse fields, will offer superfecta wagering for the first time at this meeting. The pick three, which had been offered on races five through seven, has been discontinued.

Friday's feature matches a field of 10 fillies and mares, all eligible to be claimed for $8,000, at 5 1/2 furlongs under nonwinners-of-three conditions. The favorite's role figures to be hotly disputed, but Spice Twice could prove the one to beat.

Spice Twice returned from a freshening to run a decent fourth against open $6,250 claimers on Dec. 22. That race was won by the razor-sharp Barmara, who was beaten just a nose in an allowance here last Sunday. Spice Twice, who had not raced since September at Emerald Downs, figures to move forward off that effort and will surely appreciate the drop into restricted company. She drew the extreme outside post, however, and rider Sean Evans will need to find a way to avoid losing excessive ground on the turn.

Two others who will draw strong mutuel support are Nancys Blazen Lady, an allowance winner in her last sprint try in December, and Spirit One, an impressive 5 1/2-length winner over maiden special weight company last Sunday. Both have keen early foot and either could prove difficult to overhaul if able to shake loose early.

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