10/26/2006 11:00PM

'Cop' needs cash to chase bonus

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Ex Mountain Cop is in line to collect a $30,000 bonus if he can win the one-mile $40,000 Os West Oregon Futurity at Portland Meadows on Oregon-bred Day, Dec. 10, but it won't be easy and his connections will have to pay dearly for the opportunity.

Ex Mountain Cop, a 2-year-old son of Ex Marks the Cop who races for owners Maynard Davis and Charles Novak, earned his crack at the bonus via a front-running 1 1/4-length victory in last Sunday's $15,000 OTBA Sale Stakes at six furlongs. The Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association has offered the bonus, which is funded from the sale of donated stallion seasons, every year since 1998, but no horse has been able to collect it by sweeping the Sales Stakes and the Futurity.

"The closest anyone has come was Lethal Grande in 2001," said Ursula Gibbons, the OTBA's executive secretary. "He won Sales Stakes very easily, but he was upset as the heavy favorite in the Futurity by Fit to Bet."

Ex Mountain Cop will be the ninth horse to attempt to complete the elusive Sales Stakes-Futurity double, but only if his owners ante up the equivalent of 20 percent of the Futurity pot, or $8,000, to make him eligible. The supplemental payment is necessary because Ex Mountain Cop, who was purchased in utero at the 2003 OTBA Sale, was not nominated to the Oregon-bred 2-year-old stakes series as a yearling.

"It was a costly oversight, but we'll probably go ahead and point him toward the Futurity," said trainer Jonathan Nance. "I thought he ran a really good race in the Sales Stakes because he was wiped out at the start, and he showed he can handle a mile last summer at Emerald Downs."

Nance said Ex Mountain Cop will likely prep for the Futurity in the $20,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes for Oregon-breds at six furlongs on Nov. 5. He will have to be supplemented to that race at a cost of $4,000.

"If we run him in the Wineberg he'll probably meet most of the horses he will have to face in the Futurity, so it will give us a better idea of how he fits," said Nance.

'Cantbeat' relishes longer distance

Last Sunday's $20,000 Mt. Hood Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile continued a string of upsets in the open stakes contested so far at the meet, as Cantbeatwhatucantc disposed of the heavily favored Reno Ringo after a half-mile and drew out to score by nearly 10 lengths at odds of 10-1.

"I thought he would run well because he had trained really well, but I never would have guessed he would win like that," said trainer Ben Root. "Sometimes it is just a matter of who takes to the track. It's a lot different than Emerald Downs."

Both Reno Ringo and Cantbeatwhatucantc had been racing at Emerald Downs, where Reno Ringo competed on the stakes level and Cantbeatwhatucantc met claimers. Cantbeatwhatucantc, a son of Ihtimam, won 3 of 8 starts at Emerald before being claimed out of a second-place effort in a 5 1/2-furlong race for $7,500 claimers on Sept. 30 by new owners Howard and Dee Hammer, who race under the banner of Remmah Racing Inc.

"He had been going short at Emerald, and I thought he might be a better horse going long," said Howard Hammer.

Cantbeatwhatucantc's score followed Height of Summer's upset of heavily favored Slewicide Cruise in the Inaugural Handicap and Tall Pines's victory over the highly fancied Star Amethyst in the Diane Kem Handicap.

Stablemates to clash in stakes

Blackies Cuttie, the certain favorite for the $20,000 Janet Wineberg Stakes for Oregon-bred fillies on Nov. 5, drilled five furlongs in 1:03.60 for trainer Ben Root on Monday morning.

Blackies Cuttie, who is undefeated after easy scores over $40,000 maidens and open allowance company at Emerald Downs, is likely to get her main competition in the Janet Wineberg from a stablemate. Betcha Ima Bigshot, who races for her trainer's mother, Margaret Root, is also 2 for 2 after defeating $15,000 optional claiming company at Hastings last Saturday.

"I don't think she is in the same league as Blackies Cuttie right now, but she is improving so fast that it is hard to gauge how good she might be," said Ben Root. "I guess we'll find out in the Janet Wineberg."

Crispin, Nance winning in bunches

Jockey Joe Crispin and trainer Jonathan Nance dominated Tuesday's card, as Crispin scored with five of his eight mounts and Nance tallied will all three of the starters he saddled.

Crispin improved his record to 20 wins from 71 mounts at the meeting, extending his lead to eight wins over his nearest pursuer, Clark Jones. Nance moved into a three-way tie for second in the trainer standings with 6 wins from 20 starts, 5 fewer than leading trainer Jim Fergason.

Pirates Deputy changes hands

Pirates Deputy, the winner of the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs, has been sold to clients of trainer Bob Baffert and was scheduled to contest Saturday's California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita under the colors of the Lanni Family Trust and Schiappa. Trainer Aubrey Villyard said Pirates Deputy, who was owned by his wife, Sue, and his exercise rider, Brennan Shapiro, was sold for $260,000.

"We thought about it long and hard, but we finally decided that our chances of winning $260,000 with him at Emerald were pretty slim," said Villyard.

Fast Parade paying dividends

Another Washington-bred who was sold as a juvenile last year for a reported $200,000 has proven to be quite a bargain.

Fast Parade, a son of Delineator who was bred by Dr. Michael Konecny, won last Saturday's $500,000 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine to increase his earnings to $428,513 from 5 wins in 8 starts for owners Gary and Cecil Barber and trainer Peter Miller.