11/17/2007 12:00AM

Colt aims to duplicate maiden win

EmailPORTLAND, Ore. - Dixieland Easy looms as a strong favorite in Monday's $20,000 Columbia River Stakes at Portland Meadows, which has drawn a field of seven 2-year-olds to vie at six furlongs.

Dixieland Easy, a son of Dixieland Band from the barn of trainer Robbie Baze, made a spectacular Portland Meadows debut on Nov. 4 when he defeated maiden special weight runners by 14 lengths in 1:04.80, the fastest 5 1/2-furlong clocking at the meeting. Dixieland Easy was making his first start since being purchased privately by Ron Whitted's K J Star Stable. He had previously raced six times in Southern California, twice finishing second at the maiden $32,000 level. Kevin Radke will again ride at 119 pounds.

Dixieland Easy might get his stiffest challenge from Snowbound Tiger, who is coming off two straight scores. Snowbound Tiger, a son of Snowbound trained by Rolland Fergason, graduated at the $12,500 level at Fresno before winning the six-furlong OTOBA Sales Stakes here on Oct. 21 by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:12.40. A.L. Gutierrez retains the mount at 122 pounds.

A possible upsetter is Ahill Slew, an easy three-length winner over maiden special weight company in his career debut Oct. 21. Ahill Slew, a Slewdledo gelding trained by Brian Ramerman, got five furlongs in 59.60 seconds while giving the impression he had more to give, then returned on Nov. 13 to blow out for Monday's engagement with three furlongs in a bullet 35 seconds, the fastest of 22 workouts at the distance on the tab.

Also a threat is the Jim Fergason-trained Sam Angelo, a 6 1/4-length winner over $8,000 maidens in his Portland Meadows debut on Oct. 8, when he covered five furlongs in 59.80 seconds.