12/08/2005 12:00AM

Another mile try for Bullishdemands


PORTLAND, Ore. - There can't be much doubt that Bullishdemands is the best sprinting filly or mare on the Portland Meadows grounds. Though still a 3-year-old, Bullishdemands has humbled older rivals twice in six-furlong handicaps.

She won the Diane Kem by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:12.20 on Oct. 29, then scored a 3 1/2-length victory in the Matinee Girl on Nov. 19, when she got the distance in 1:12.

The question at issue in Saturday's $10,000 City of Roses Handicap at a mile is whether she can extend her dominance around two turns. In her only previous mile try, Bullishdemands finished fifth of seven behind Golden Pine in the one-mile John and Kitty Fletcher Handicap at Emerald Downs on Oct. 2.

"I don't think she really had an excuse that day, but it was her first route, and she was meeting an awfully tough field," said Gene Davis, who trains Bullishdemands for owner Michael Radovich. "I also think she is quite a bit better now than she was at Emerald. Her confidence is way up, and she is right on top of her game. I've always felt she would be at her best around two turns, and I hope she will prove me right about that on Saturday."

Bullishdemands isn't the only one with her confidence at high tide. Marijo Terleski, who guided the filly to both of her local wins, is expecting Bullishdemands to extend her winning streak in the City of Roses.

"I can't help but be confident in her," said the rider. "She has been relaxing so well and finishing so strongly, I've got to think she'll be even tougher at a mile than she has been at six furlongs."

Thanks in part to Bullishdemands' heroics, Davis has compiled a record of 7 wins, 3 seconds and a third from just 14 starts at the meeting.

"I've just got some horses who can run this year," he said. "There's really no secret to training. If your horses can run and you do a reasonable job of entering them, you are going to win some races."

Good cause produces a good filly

Sometimes, even in the rough-and-tumble world of racing, a spontaneous act of kindness can be rewarded. That appears to be the case with John and Laurie Ansell and their 3-year-old filly Our Girl Pearl, who seemed to show limitless potential when she won her debut over maiden special weight company by a resounding 13 1/2 lengths here on Nov. 20, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 77.

Our Girl Pearl is the result of a breeding to the Kentucky-based sire The Deputy that John Ansell bought at an auction to benefit Emily Beach, the daughter of trainer Randy Beach and his wife, Betty. At the age of 2, Emily had been diagnosed with cancer and faced months of expensive treatment.

"The auction was on April 13, 2001, and that is pretty late in the year to be trying to sell a stallion season," said John Ansell. "The season was good for that year only, and most of the breeders had already bred or booked their mares. Nobody was bidding, so I raised my hand to get the bidding started. The next thing I knew, I had bought the breeding for $3,000. I basically looked at it as a donation, because I didn't even own a mare."

Ansell was able to lease the good mare Miss Crafty Slew from his friend Kevin Parker, however, and a week later she was in Kentucky being bred to The Deputy, a Santa Anita Derby winner.

"She got pregnant on the first breeding, so we were really lucky," said Laurie Ansell. "I guess it was meant to be."

Just what Our Girl Pearl was meant to be was a mystery for a long time, as she was small and sick as a yearling and growthy with sore shins as a 2-year-old. When Laurie Ansell put her back into training this year, however, she began to show unusual talent.

"I never let her run fast in the mornings, though, so I still wasn't exactly sure what we had," she said. "I thought she'd win her first start, but I didn't dream she'd win by 13 1/4 lengths with a 77 Beyer. We're pretty excited about her now."

It remains to be seen how much success the Ansells will enjoy with Our Girl Pearl, but one happy result from the 2001 auction is in the books. Emily Beach successfully completed her treatments and is now a healthy 6-year-old.

Baby brother growing up quickly

Tom Two has often been referred to as the younger brother of Cyamaria, who won 10 stakes and more than $80,000 for trainer Delmer Webb here in 1999 and 2000.

With his victory in last Sunday's Columbia River Handicap, however, Tom Two seemed to emerge from his illustrious sister's shadow. The Columbia River win was Tom Two's fourth score from 10 starts as a 2-year-old, and it boosted his bankroll to almost $65,000. That is nearly twice the $36,150 that Cyamaria earned from three wins in six starts at 2. Another win in the $40,000 Os West Futurity at a mile on Dec. 17 would push his earnings to nearly $87,000, and he would eclipse Cyamaria's career earnings.

"It's hard to believe, isn't it?" said Webb. "He is just a remarkably durable 2-year-old, and the amazing thing is that his coat looked better today than it has ever looked. I've just got to keep him where he is at for one more race, then he can take some time off."