02/23/2007 12:00AM

Lethal Grande shoots for second Mile


PORTLAND, Ore. - Lethal Grande will head a field of nine older handicap runners in Sunday's 40th renewal of the $25,000 Portland Meadows Mile.

Lethal Grande, an 8-year-old who won the Mile in 2004, will carry high weight of 126 pounds and concede 4 to 10 pounds to his rivals. Lethal Grande has won 3 of 5 starts at the meeting, but he is coming off a troubled third to Crimson Design and Raggedy Rowe in the six-furlong Governor's Speed Handicap on Feb. 5. Lethal Grande, who was favored at 3-5 despite toting 128 pounds in that race, engaged in a prolonged bumping match with Crimson Design before tiring to finish six lengths behind the winner, who got six furlongs in 1:13.20. Trainer Tom Longstaff has named Leanne Painter to ride Lethal Grande.

Lethal Grande again figures to get his stiffest challenge from Crimson Design, who snapped a string of four seconds, including to Lethal Grande in a five-furlong invitational handicap on Jan. 21, with his win in the Governor's Speed. Crimson Design, a 6-year-old from the barn of trainer Jim Fergason, finished second to Charlie's Pride in last year's Mile. Regular rider Joe Crispin will again have the mount.

Charlie's Pride will be seeking to repeat last year's Mile win, but he will be doing so off a layoff of nine months. Trainer R.G. Pierce had hoped to prep Charlie's Pride, 6, in the Governor's Speed, but a minor injury delayed his return.