11/13/2003 12:00AM

'Houston' vs. Tom Won, take two


PORTLAND, Ore. - Houston Shuffle and Tom Won will square off for the second time in Saturday's $13,950 Bill Wineberg Stakes, which has attracted a field of 11 Oregon-bred juveniles.

Houston Shuffle was a seven-length winner over Tom Won when both made their debuts here in a five-furlong maiden special weight race on opening day, Oct. 18, but Tom Won broke slowly and raced wide that day.

Both horses came back to win on Nov. 1. Houston Shuffle won the six-furlong OTBA Sales Stakes by almost four lengths in 1:14.47 and Tom Won scored an impressive 4 3/4-length maiden win with 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07.85.

Houston Shuffle, a son of Houston from the barn of trainer Jonathan Nance, is expected to go off as the favorite under leading rider Juan Gutierrez, while Tom Won will be a strong second choice with Twyla Beckner riding.

Another possibility is Mythical Road, a Cisco Road gelding trained by Richard Occhiuto. Mythical Road won his last two starts, both at Emerald Downs, leading throughout to prevail over $12,500 maidens at a mile in August and coming from well back to down $12,500 winners at six furlongs on closing day, Sept. 22.

Rounding out the top flight is Might E Man, an improving son of Baquero from the barn of trainer Ben Root. Though beaten by Houston Shuffle in both his starts, Might E Man closed well for second in the OTBA Sale Stakes and can contend with another step forward.

Saturday's live racing will get under way at 2:30 p.m.