01/12/2007 12:00AM

Lethal Grande, 8, as good as ever


PORTLAND, Ore. - Lethal Grande will shoot for his third straight score on Sunday, when he heads a field of five older sprinters in a six-furlong invitational handicap with a purse of $7,800.

Lethal Grande, who will be burdened with high weight of 126 pounds, is coming off an impressive seven-length win in the Oregon Sprint Championship here on Dec. 10, when he got six furlongs in 1:09.80, less than a second off his own track record of 1:09. That was the 21st win for Lethal Grande, an 8-year-old Oregon-bred son of Corslew with career earnings of $352,341. Trainer Tom Longstaff has again given the mount to Javier Ortega, who was up for Lethal Grande's last score.

Lethal Grande figures to get stiff challenges from Charlie's Pride and Tom Two, both stakes winners. Charlie's Pride, a 6-year-old trained by R. G. Pierce, won last year's Portland Meadows Mile, this track's most prestigious race, but he has not raced since going unplaced in Hastings's John Longden Handicap on May 22. Tom Two, a four-time stakes winner here last season, came off a long layoff to win the 1 1/16-mile Oregon His Stakes for 3-year-olds on Dec. 10. Pierce has named Clark Jones to ride Charlie's Pride at 121 pounds, while trainer Delmer Webb has given the call on Tom Two to Joe Crispin at 119 pounds.

La Grizz and Raggidy Rowe, the second and third finishers in Lethal Grande's Oregon Sprint Championship win, round out the field.