01/12/2006 1:00AM

Tamper seeks third in a row


PORTLAND, Ore. - Tamper will shoot for a third straight stakes win on Saturday when he heads a seven-horse field in the one-mile, $7,500 Tall Ben Invitational Handicap at Portland Meadows.

The 6-year-old Tamper, who races for David Green, is coming off front-running scores in the one-mile Polynesian Flyer Invitational Handicap and the 1 1/16-mile William Kyne Handicap, both in November. Regular rider Jose Zunino is again expected to put Tamper on the lead, and it will be a question of whether he can hang on while carrying high weight of 122 pounds.

Silent Exploit and My Friend Dave figure to offer strong challenges. Silent Exploit, trained by Ben Root, finished second in the Polynesian Flyer and third in the William Kyne, beaten just a length in each race.

"He's really one of the best horses I've ever had my hands on, and I'm frustrated that I haven't gotten a win out of him yet," said Root. "I feel he still has room to improve, so I'm hopeful that he can bust out on Saturday."

My Friend Dave, last season's horse of the meeting, finished third in the Polynesian Flyer and second in the Kyne before posting an easy win over lesser in the Dec. 31 Oregon Sprint Championship.

The 4-year-old Raggidy Rowe, exiting a late-running win in the 1 1/16-mile Oregon His Stakes on Oregon Championship Day on Dec. 31, will be making his first start against older horses.