04/01/2005 1:00AM

Bub is back to ignite old rivalry


PORTLAND, Ore. - Bub will challenge the local handicap stars in next Saturday's $20,000 Portland Meadows Mile.

Bub, a 5-year-old trained by Bud Klokstad, was the top 2-year-old at Emerald Downs in 2002, when he won three stakes. He missed almost all of his 3-year-old campaign due to illness, and took almost all of last year to round back into form.

In his final start of 2004 on Nov. 24, Bub defeated $25,000 claimers at Golden Gate, running six furlongs in 1:09.40 and earning a solid Beyer Speed Figure of 91. Coming back against $32,000 company at Bay Meadows on Feb. 4, Bub equaled that Beyer while falling a nose short of catching repeat winner Smoke Till Dawn in a six-furlong race timed in 1:09.20.

"Bud took him to Emerald Downs after that race, and he has been training for the Mile ever since," said Bub's owner, Art McFadden. "We're hoping he is finally back to where he was before he got sick."

The local contingent for the Mile is led by My Friend Dave, Crimson Design, and Knightsbridge Road, who finished first, second, and fourth in the Governor's Speed Handicap at six furlongs on March 19.

Knightsbridge Road was beaten 5 1/4 lengths by My Friend Dave, who earned his third consecutive win, but trainer Debbie Van Horne was pleased with the way Knightsbridge Road ran in his first start of the year.

"He needed the race, and six furlongs is too short for him, so he really ran about as well as I could have expected," she said. "He came out of it great, and I'm looking for a better effort in the Mile. It will be fun to see him run against Bub again."

Bub and Knightsbridge Road met five times as 2-year-olds at Emerald Downs, finishing first and second in close finishes each time. Bub won four of those meetings, while Knightsbridge Road got the best of Bub in the Emerald Express Stakes.

Ortega surprises as leading rider

Jockey Javier Ortega arrived at the meet five weeks after it started, so it never crossed his mind that he would be the leading rider. But with 10 days left in the 80-day meet Ortega held a nine-win lead over Twyla Beckner and Tim Neal, who were tied for second in the Thoroughbred rider standings with 50 wins apiece.

"When I got here, Debbie Hoonan and Juan Gutierrez were winning all the races, but they both got hurt and their misfortune helped me," said Ortega. "I felt bad for Debbie and Juan, but thankfully they are both okay now. Anyway, I got a lot more opportunities, and I took advantage of them. I'm happy with the way it all worked out."

Ortega hopes to keep his momentum going at Emerald Downs, where he will move his tack after next weekend's racing. Agent Mike Delnick will handle his book.

One Fast Trick earns highest praise

Owner-trainer Ron Raley said that he didn't originally intend to run his brilliant Quarter Horse One Fast Trick in last Saturday's Quarter Horse Derby at 400 yards.

"I've been pointing her toward a challenge race against older fillies and mares at Sun Downs in May, but I got to looking at the schedule and I realized the trials for that race are almost a month away," he said. "I figured she could probably use a prep."

One Fast Trick, a 3-year-old daughter of Dash Ta Fame, went to the front at the start and held steady under regular rider Twyla Beckner to win by a length over runner-up Sheza Teresa in 20.51. It was the ninth win in 10 career starts for One Fast Trick, who went off at 3-5.

"She is really a remarkable individual," said Raley. "I've had some talented fillies before, both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, but they all had their quirks. This filly has no quirks. She just does everything right, both on and off the track. I think that's what sets her apart."

98 is enough

Trainer Jim Keen had hoped to send out his 11-year-old Tissington for his 100th start in a 1 1/4-mile race scheduled for Saturday, but something went wrong on the horse's way to start number 99. Tissington made it as far as the gate in last Sunday's third race, but a rival flipped in the gate and began thrashing.

"He kicked old Tissington in the stifle, and now it is all swollen," reported Keen. "He made 98 starts without a blemish, and then this happens. His career is over. I'll take him home now, and let him enjoy his retirement."

Tissington retires with 14 wins, 21 seconds, 19 thirds, and $66,477 in earnings.

Russell Baze's namesake dies

Memorial services were held Wednesday for longtime steward Russ Lawler, who died last weekend at the age of 84 from injuries suffered in a car accident. Lawler was a trainer, a jockey's agent, and a clerk of scales before becoming a steward at Great Falls, Mont., in 1951. He later served as a steward at Yakima Meadows and Longacres. Among Lawler's riders in his agent days was Joe Baze, who named his son, leading rider Russell Baze, in Lawler's honor.