01/27/2011 12:47PM

Alec's Moon ships north for Portland Meadows Oaks


PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Meadows will present its biggest race in nearly one-quarter of a century, the $80,000 Portland Meadows Oaks, on a special Saturday card.

The $80,000 purse makes the Oaks the richest race run at Portland Meadows since 1987, when Bill Shoemaker guided Present Value to victory in the $100,000 Coors Mile.

Eight 3-year-old fillies will compete in the one-mile race that is the first step in the Black-Eyed Susan $2.2 million bonus being offered at MI Development-owned racetracks.

Jerry Hollendorfer, who leads the trainer standings with 40 victories and a 59 percent winning percentage, brings in likely favorite Alec’s Moon, listed at 9-5 on the track’s morning line. Hollendorfer has also entered Golden Bow, who won a $5,000 maiden claimer here in October. The two horses will race as separate entries.

Alec’s Moon, a $125,000 purchase who is the granddaughter of Belmont winners A.P. Indy and Conquistador Cielo, was eased in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez on Jan. 15 at Santa Anita in her last start.

“Garrett [Gomez] wasn’t getting any run out of her so he eased her, which was the right thing,” said Hollendorfer. “She came back and worked well after that. Golden Bow was already there.”

The field includes Renaissance Queen, winner of the Lassie here in November, and Chick Power, who lost by a nose in the race, along with Kate Winsalot and Legendary Madame, the first- and third-place finishers in the Janet Wineberg.

The ‘X’ factor is Formal Plan, trained and partially owned by Jennifer Tooley. She won her debut here by eight lengths on Jan. 18.

Formal Plan is only the second winner for Tooley, who has served as an assistant for Justin Evans, Ben Root, and Charlie Essex.

“She’s the best one I’ve had on my own,” said Tooley, who purchased the Cal-bred at a Washington sale last September. “She’s really classy, has a great personality and trains well.”

While she wished she had another race in the filly, Tooley is not overwhelmed about running in the stakes.

“It’s probably not the most solid race to go into,” she said. “She was obviously better than her last field, but this will be much tougher. We really have no other choices so we’ll take a chance.

“She didn’t get tired last time, and the jockey really asked her only once.”

◗ Eleven runners will compete in the $25,000 Governor’s Speed Handicap at six furlongs. The race is traditionally a prep for the Portland Mile, scheduled for March 23.

Kruger Park, a winner of two stakes at last year’s meeting, is the highweight at 124 pounds and the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

Tillman’s Image, a winner of two straight races, Ricky Ricky, Carry On John, Bijou Barrister, and Hit the Juice have all won stakes at the current meeting.