12/11/2003 12:00AM

Houston Shuffle tries to stay perfect


PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Meadows will celebrate statebreds on Saturday when the track stages the 11th annual Oregon-bred Day.

All 11 races on the program, including five stakes, are restricted to Oregon-breds. Topping the bill is the $28,345 Oregon Futurity, which will match a field of nine 2-year-olds at a mile.

The undefeated Houston Shuffle figures to be favored in the Futurity as he shoots for his fourth win. Owned by Allen Floyd and trainer Jonathan Nance, Houston Shuffle debuted with a seven-length maiden win at five furlongs in October, then returned to win the OTBA Sales Stakes and the Bill Wineberg Stakes, both at six furlongs, by 3 3/4 lengths and 1 1/4 lengths, respectively. Regular rider Juan Gutierrez will attempt to stretch Houston Shuffle's speed to a mile.

Houston Shuffle's chief challengers appear to be Tom Won and Mythical Road, who finished second and third in the Wineberg. Both geldings came back in the six-furlong Columbia River Stakes on Nov. 29, when Mythical Road finished third and Tom Won fourth to the Washington-bred Runaway Briartic, but both figure to improve around two turns. Mythical Road has already won at the distance, defeating $12,500 claimers at Emerald, while Tom Won is a half-brother to the multiple-stakes-winning routers Cyamaria and Yesss.

Yesss will be in action on Saturday, as he will take on likely favorite Lethal Grande in the $10,000 Oregon Sprint Championship at six furlongs. Only three other horses were entered in the sprint, which has the shortest field on the card.

Cee Cruiser will head a field of eight in the $10,000 Oregon His for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. Cee Cruiser figures to be a heavy favorite after winning half of his eight career starts, including last season's McFadden Memorial at the His distance and a 5 1/2-furlong prep in October.

The Oregon Hers, a mile test for 3-year-old fillies with a purse of $10,000, appears to be a wide-open affair, with recent winners Chancy Chancy and Blazer Mania among the contenders in a field of seven.

The $10,000 Jane Driggers Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs will feature Americas Pride's attempt to make amends for a sixth-place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the six-furlong Lassie Stakes Nov. 22. She reportedly suffered muscle cramps in the Lassie's post parade. Before that outing, Americas Pride won the six-furlong Janet Wineberg by eight lengths.