12/01/2006 1:00AM

Crispin wins seven to tie own record


PORTLAND, Ore. - For a time on Tuesday it looked as though leading rider Joe Crispin would sweep the 10-race card at Portland Meadows. Crispin, with a big boost from leading trainer Jim Fergason, who put him on four winners, scored in the first six races before finishing off the board in the seventh.

Crispin came right back to win the eighth race aboard the Jonathan Nance-trained Chickenpotpie, thereby equaling the local record of seven riding wins on a single program. Crispin shared that record with Felipe Valdez, having tied that rider's mark here in 1998.

Crispin did not have a mount in the ninth race, but he had a chance to make the riding record his alone when he rode 2-5 shot Classy Coed in the 10th and final race. Classy Coed tired after contesting the early pace, however, checking in a distant fourth to No Fences.

"It's all good," said Crispin. "Seven wins in one day is still a pretty good day in my book."

Crispin also won two races on Sunday and three on Monday, giving him an even dozen for the week and pushing his standings-topping total to 58 through 24 days of racing. At age 46, he is riding in by far the best form of his career. Crispin attributes his current success to clean living, something he admits was not a part of his regimen until he was stripped of his license to ride two years ago.

After undergoing drug and alcohol treatment, Crispin regained his license last summer and he has made the most of his opportunity.

"I have been blessed with another chance," he said. "I have a great family in my beautiful wife and daughter, and I have a supportive group of friends who have been where I have been. I have owners, trainers, and an agent who believe in me, and that's because I believe in myself again. I am grateful to all of them. I am having fun, and I thank God every day for every one of my blessings."

Tall Pines another successful claim

Crispin and Fergason also played roles in the weekend's most noteworthy equine performance, as the rider booted the Fergason-trained Tall Pines to an authoritative four-length victory over Chancy Chancy in a one-mile invitational handicap for fillies and mares on Sunday.

That was the fourth straight score for Tall Pines, a 4-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff and the stakes-winning mare Spite and Malice. Her last three wins have come for Fergason and co-owner David Green, who claimed her for $10,000 at Emerald Downs in September. She has won $21,121 for her new connections to push her career earnings to $74,600.

"She's nice, this filly," said Green. "I have been so fortunate to be a part of the success of this horse."

Green is no stranger to successful claims, having won 11 races with Colony Lane and Tamper at the last Portland Meadows meeting after claiming both runners at Emerald Downs. The owner lost Tamper for $8,000 earlier at this meeting, but claimed him back last Sunday for a $12,500 tag.

"I lost a little on the exchange of claims, but he is a neat horse and he was good to me when I had him before," said Green. "He doesn't owe me a thing."

Tom Two may be ready for His Stakes

Multiple stakes winner Tom Two has worked four times, including a pair of five-furlong drills, and may be ready to contest the 1 1/16-mile His Stakes for 3-year-old statebreds on Oregon Championship Day, Dec. 10, trainer Delmer Webb reported.

"It is asking a lot to send him 1 1/16 miles off the bench, but I'd rather run him against 3-year-olds than to take on Lethal Grande in the Oregon Sprint Championship," said Webb. "He is training awfully well, and if I can get a good six-furlong work into him I think he'll be fit enough."

Tom Two, who has not raced since finishing third in the Oregon Derby here last May, figures to get his sternest opposition from the rapidly improving Brave Hearted. Brave Hearted is coming off an impressive eight-length victory over allowance rivals in a one-mile race here Nov. 21, when he won for the third time in five starts.

"He has really improved with distance, and I always kind of thought that would be the case," said Brave Hearted's trainer, Eulia Bishoff. "The riders always had trouble pulling him up when he was sprinting. A mile and a sixteenth should hit him just right."

Record payday on the line

Ex Mountain Cop will be shooting for the biggest payday in Portland Meadows history when he contests the $40,000-added Os West Oregon Futurity on Oregon Championship Day. The purse for the Futurity will swell to $48,000 plus entry and starting fees when Ex Mountain Cop's supplemental payment of $8,000 is added to the pot, so the winner's 55 percent share will be more than $26,400.

In addition, Ex Mountain Cop is eligible to collect a $30,000 bonus for sweeping the OTBA Sales Stakes and the Futurity. The $56,400-plus payout would exceed the $55,000 that Present Value collected when he won the 1989 Portland Meadows Mile under Bill Shoemaker in 1989. That was the only year that the Mile boasted a purse of $100,000.

Ex Mountain Cop has won his last three starts by a combined 19 lengths, and trainer Jonathan Nance is confident he will be sending out the best horse, but that doesn't mean he isn't worrying.

"My main concern is just to keep him healthy and happy," said Nance. "I'd be sick if anything happened to him before the race."