11/03/2004 12:00AM

Big bonus eludes One Fast Trick


PORTLAND, Ore. - A few minutes before last Saturday's $28,760 Northwest Open Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses was run at 400 yards, a brilliant rainbow appeared in the sky above Portland Meadows.

The rainbow, with its promise of a pot of gold, certainly seemed a good omen for Ron Raley. Raley is the owner, trainer, and breeder of the exceptional filly One Fast Trick, who was eligible to earn the biggest payday in the history of Oregon racing with one more win. A victory in the futurity would have been worth not only the $11,860 winner's prize, but a bonus of $100,000 for sweeping the state's three most important futurities for Quarter Horses.

One Fast Trick had already won the Portland Meadows Futurity in the spring and the Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass in the summer, and she had beaten almost all of her seven rivals on Saturday at least once in her five-race career. For those reasons, One Fast Trick was favored at even money over the fastest qualifier, One Fast Okie, who went off at 8-5.

It was not to be. One Fast Trick battled for the lead with One Fast Okie through 300 yards, then One Fast Okie inched away to score by 1 1/4 lengths in 20.04 seconds. One Fast Trick held second by a nose over Sheza Teresa. Those same two horses finished in a dead heat for first during the trials.

Instead of collecting, $111,860, Raley had to settle for $5,040. Nevertheless, he was still smiling after the race.

"I've been in this game a long time, so I know how tough it can be," said Raley. "My filly got bumped a couple of times at the start and that didn't help, but I don't think it made the difference, either. The winner ran a big race- 20.04 is pretty fast."

The time was 0.29 faster than One Fast Okie's qualifying clocking of 20.33, and it was just 0.18 off the track record of 19.86 set by the 3-year-old BCR Just Do It in 1995.

One Fast Okie, a gelded son of Okey Dokey Dale, races for Gregory Hickman of Kennewick, Wash. Hickman credited his trainer, James Glenn Jr., with developing One Fast Okie's talent.

"The filly flat outran us in the first two futurities," he said. "But Jimmy did a lot of work on our horse and finally got him to run to his ability. He was pretty green earlier in the year, but he seems to have everything figured out now."

Hickman also noted that he was lucky to secure the riding services of leading jockey Debbie Hoonan, and indeed he was. One Fast Okie was scheduled to be ridden by Kevin Murray, but Murray was immediately suspended after being tested before Saturday's first race. According to Steve Brewster, chief investigator for the Oregon Racing Commission, Murray tested positive for excessive levels of alcohol. The stewards have scheduled a hearing into the matter for Nov. 15.

With Murray unavailable, Glenn prevailed upon Hoonan to take over the mounts on One Fast Okie and two other Quarter Horses the trainer sent out in the day's first two races. Hoonan won aboard two of the Glenn trainees, and they were the first victories aboard Quarter Horses in her career.

"The only other Quarter Horse I have ridden was 13 years ago at Elma," she said. "Nobody else wanted to ride him, and he bucked me off."

The two Quarter Horse wins boosted Hoonan's victory total for the day to five.

Eighty Eighty impressive in Sales win

Another bonus, this one for $25,000, is available for any Thoroughbred 2-year-old who can sweep the OTBA Sales Stakes, the Bill Wineberg Stakes, and the Os West Oregon Futurity. Only Eighty Eighty can win that bonus, and judging by the way he won last Saturday's $7,000 Sales Stakes, he might do just that.

Under a patient ride by Melissa Peery, Eighty Eighty allowed the speedy Cascadiansasquatch to sprint away to a three-length lead after a quarter in 23.05, then reeled that rival in on the turn and drew out to score by nearly 10 lengths in 1:12.87 for six furlongs.

Eighty Eighty, an Oregon-bred son of Baquero who races for Sheila Marquart, was winning for the first time in three starts. Trainer Ben Root feels the horse has the potential to run off at least two more wins.

"I had the bonus in the back of my mind before this race, and I reminded Melissa about it in the paddock," said Root. "This horse is really coming into himself now, and I think he is really going to love going around two turns. If we can make it to the Futurity with a shot at the bonus, I'll feel very good about our chances."

The $19,280-added Bill Wineberg will be run at six furlongs on Nov. 13, and the $41,780 Os West Futurity will be run at a mile on Dec. 11. Both races are restricted to Oregon-breds.

* The failure of the lights that illuminate the track to come on last Friday night, which resulted in the cancellation of the nine-race card, was caused by a fire in a transformer station, according to general manager Chris Dragone. Dragone said the necessary repairs were made last Sunday, and that the lost day of racing will be made up at a later date.