03/20/2009 11:00PM

Ex Mountain Cop goes longer in Portland Mile


Jonathan Nance has a good feeling about Monday's $30,000 Portland Mile at Portland Meadows. He'll be saddling Portland's top sprinter, Ex Mountain Cop, as he tries to go a mile against eight rivals.

Despite the stretch-out, Nance is confident.

And why shouldn't he be? Ex Mountain Cop is undefeated in nine starts at Portland. And speed has been playing well at the track.

"I think the pace makes the race," said Nance, who figures Ex Mountain Cop, who has won his past three sprints in wire-to-wire style, will be on the lead from post 8.

"A lot depends on how hard he may be pushed. With the outside post, he shouldn't be pushed from the outside."

Although known as a sprinter, Ex Mountain Cop has tried the one-mile distance twice, scoring a win and a third-place finish.

"As a 2-year-old, he went out pretty hard and then was able to coast home, but this horse has matured," Nance said, referring to the 5-year-old gelding's victory in the Os West Futurity here as a 2-year-old in his last try beyond six furlongs.

Ex Mountain Cop faces a tough challenge as he tries to improve to 10 for 10 at Portland Meadows.

Stealth Attack, twice a runner-up to Ex Mountain Cop sprinting, recently scored an easy victory at a mile in an overnight handicap and earlier this meet won a similar race at 1 1/16 miles.

Three Golden Gate Fields imports - Crafty Power, who stopped badly in an allowance race after setting a brisk pace in his last start; Tritium, a runner-up in starter allowance company his past two starts; and Winter Warning, a stakes winner at Hastings - will provide challenges early and late.

One Quick Brew was a stakes winner at a mile and 70 yards earlier in the meet.

Brave Hearted, third to Stealth Attack after a five-month layoff, Rockinstomper; and Flaming Bullet, who is making his third start off a layoff, round out the field.