12/18/2003 1:00AM

Abstract, Dr. Litin to join Oakhurst roster


PORTLAND, Ore. - Dr. Jack and Cookie Root, the owners of Oakhurst Thoroughbreds in Newberg, Ore., will add two stallions to their roster for the 2004 breeding season, bringing their total to eight.

The first, Abstract, is no newcomer to Oregon breeding. A 10-year-old son of Danzig and Far, by Forli, Abstract entered stud at Painted Rock Ranch in Terrebone, Ore., in 1997 and has four crops to the races. He has sired nine stakes winners from only 45 foals to race, including multiple stakes winners Moonlit Maddie, and Yesss, and was named Oregon's top sire in each of the last two years.

The other stallion, Dr. Litin, will be standing at stud for the first time. Dr. Litin, a 4-year-old son of Broad Brush and Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors, was purchased as a yearling by Aaron and Marie Jones for $2.5 million.

"He only ran three times because he had a bit of a breathing problem, but he is a gorgeous individual, and we think he has a lot of potential at stud," said Dr. Root. "His dam was one of the greatest race mares of our time, and we've gotten a lot of good response to him because of that."

The first 30 approved mares will be bred by Dr. Litin for a booking fee of only $300, but those slots have nearly been filled. Additional mares will be bred for $1,000, which is the same as Abstract's fee.

Dr. Litin and Abstract will join Bagshot, Baquero, Klinsman, Ochoco, Prospected, and True Confidence, giving Oakhurst Thoroughbreds the largest stallion roster in the state and probably in the Northwest.

"It's a lot of stallions, but they are all very promising, and they have all attracted attention," said Root. "I think we're only breeding about 400 mares a year in Oregon now, and I expect that about 200 will be bred to our stallions next year. Our biggest problem will be finding a place for all the mares."

In addition to breeding Thoroughbreds, Root, a licensed veterinarian, is becoming more involved with the artificial insemination of other breeds.

"We do it both ways," he said. "We collect semen from our stallions and send the samples out to mares around the country, and we have semen shipped to us to impregnate local mares. Last year, I was involved with about 160 artificial inseminations, and that number will probably grow."

Stars ship in and out

Several of the brighter lights at the Portland Meadows meet, such as Lethal Grande, Sullivanitis, and Cee Cruiser, were expected to ship to northern California this week, and at least one more, Americas Pride, has been turned out after a long campaign.

The vans run both ways, however, and trainer Jacqui Navarre reported she recently received two new horses from Canada who arrived here last week: Star of Elttaes, a 5-year-old who won for a $16,000 tag at Emerald last summer and is coming off a six-length romp over $8,000 company at Hastings, and Lasting Kiss, a 3-year-old filly who twice defeated $7,500 foes at the most recent Northlands Park meeting.

"Star of Elttaes was claimed out of his win by Doug Clyde, and Lasting Kiss was purchased privately by another of our clients, Jim Hambleton," said Navarre. "Star of Elttaes is very sharp, and he may be able to do some good in stakes here. We're hoping to find a couple of allowance races for him, then run him in the Governor's Speed Handicap in March."

Navarre said Lasting Kiss, a speedy sprinter, will run in mid-level claiming races.

McLaughlin honored

Services were held in Spokane last weekend for former trainer T. D. "Tom" McLaughlin, who died Dec. 9 at age 75.

McLaughlin began training at Playfair in the late 1950's but soon became a force at Longacres, where he won 21 stakes. His best horse was Ginger Sauce, who won seven stakes at Longacres and was named the track's top older filly or mare in 1977 and 1978. McLaughlin also trained Knight 'O Morn, a stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4, and Power Pays, who won the Gottstein Futurity in 1976.

In 1977, Longacres honored McLaughlin with the Steve O'Donnell Award, which recognizes leadership, sportsmanship, and excellence on and off the track.

McLaughlin may be remembered with contributions to the Alzheimer's Association, 601 W. Maxwell, Suite 4, Spokane, WA 99201.

Gutierrez on pace to break record

Don't look now, but leading rider Juan Gutierrez is on pace to break one of the most venerated records at Portland Meadows. Through Monday's 26th day of racing, Gutierrez had 47 wins, which, if he could maintain the same pace of 1.8 wins per day, would give him 144 wins for the 80-day meet.

The current record of 126 wins in a single season was set in 1983 by Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.