11/28/2001 12:00AM

It's wait till next year for Chinquapin Charlie


PORTLAND, Ore. - There will be a three-week hiatus in the Thoroughbred stakes action at Portland Meadows until Oregon-bred Day on Dec. 15, when five stakes will be staged. For Chinquapin Charlie, the hero of Portland's Thanksgiving Handicap, the break will be considerably longer. A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Northern Baby colt, he won't run again until the nine-furlong William Kyne Handicap on Jan. 27.

"Our main goal for him is the Portland Meadows Mile in April, and I'd like him to go into that race fresh," said trainer Steve Fisher. "I don't want to run him more than about three times before the Mile. It's not that tough to train him up to a race, and he runs well off the bench."

Chinquapin Charlie proved that he could run well fresh in the Thanksgiving Day Handicap, coming off a 2 1/2-month vacation to win in what has become his patented style. Under Marijo Terleski, he fell far back early and was still last of seven turning into the stretch, but he swamped the leaders inside the sixteenth pole and went off to win by two lengths over longshot Silver Sky in 1:42.40 for a mile.

"He's a deep-closing router, but it took a while to find that out," said Fisher. "When I first got him as a 3-year-old he had run nine times but had never gone long. He improved a lot when we stretched him out, then he improved again when we took him back to last in a $75,000 stakes at Emerald.

"Makors Mark was in that race and we were just hoping to get a piece of it, but he came flying for second at 15-1. We've let him run that way ever since, and he has been pretty good to us."

Under Fisher's care, Chinquapin Charlie has won seven of 18 starts and earned more than $80,000 for owner James Hambleton.

Winning team with juveniles

Owner and trainer Pat Sonnen and rider Juan Gutierrez continued their dominance over the local 2-year-old division last weekend, winning Saturday's $15,210 Janet Wineberg Stakes with Lammy, who was coming off a score in the Lassie Stakes, and then taking Sunday's $13,250 Bill Wineberg Stakes with Lethal Grande, who had posted his maiden win in the OTBA Sales Stakes. Both of the Oregon-breds were bet down to odds-on favoritism, and neither gave their backers much cause for concern. Lammy held on by 1 1/2 lengths over Absolutism in 1:14.20 for six furlongs, and Lethal Grande pulled away to score by seven lengths over Ransome Road in 1:13.60. Sonnen drew a sharp distinction between the two performances, however.

"The way Lethal Grande won, it looks as though he'll have no problem going two turns," he said. "I'm not so sure about Lammy.

"Juan said he had a lot of horse left at the finish, but it looked to me like she hit a wall near the finish. I know she was awfully tired when she got back to the barn."

Sonnen said Lethal Grande will get his chance to go a mile in the Os West Oregon Futurity on Oregon-bred Day, while Lammy will stick to sprinting in the six-furlong Jane Driggers Debutante on the same program.

Abstract gets concrete results

The Janet Wineberg Stakes put the promising young sire Abstract in the spotlight, as both Lammy and runner-up Absolutism are from the second crop of that Danzig stallion.

Abstract had four stakes winners and two stakes-placed runners from just 24 foals in his first crop. In addition to the one-two finishers in the Janet Wineberg, his second crop includes Be Still My Heart, who ran third in the OTBA Sales Stakes in her debut.

"He has another nice 2-year-old named Allstruck who has two seconds against maiden special weight company at Turf Paradise," added Mike Stafford, who stands Abstract at Painted Rock Ranch in central Oregon. "Donna Jenson also has an unstarted Abstract baby at Santa Anita with Mike Mitchell, and they are very high on that one."

Stafford is counting on Abstract to fill the shoes of the state's three-time leading sire, Boutinierre, who is going into semi-retirement.

"He is 20 now, so I'm just going to keep him on my farm in Prineville and breed him to a few of my own mares," said Stafford, the breeder of Boutinierre. "Abstract is our main guy. He bred 46 mares this year, and it looks like he'll get about the same number next year."