12/20/2001 12:00AM

Melton pair look good in Far West


PORTLAND, Ore. - Trainer Lin Melton holds a strong hand in the $37,706 Far West Futurity Finals at Portland Meadows on Saturday, when he saddles the winners of two of the three trial races, which were run on Dec. 9.

Melton will send out Yak Ity Yak Go, who won the first trial by 1 1/2 lengths in 20.78 for the 400 yards, and Fancy a Shag, who scored by a half-length in 20.74 in the third trial.

Fancy a Shag, who races for Dutch Masters III, has earned $44,012 from four wins in 11 starts and should vie for favoritism on Saturday, when he will break from post 3 in the field of 10 2-year-old Quarter Horses. Cammie Papineau will be in the irons at 122 pounds, the weight assigned to all qualifiers.

The top threat to the Melton trainees will be Oh Mindy Oh, who was the fastest qualifier in the trials. Oh Mindy Oh, a Strawfly Special filly from the barn of Mark Garrison, shipped in from Los Alamitos and won her heat by three lengths in 20.52. That was the second win from five starts for Oh Mindy Oh, who would appear to have room for further improvement.

The field for the Far West Futurity, which will go as the fourth of 11 live races, includes a Milton Burroughs-owned, Scott Raley-trained entry of Juno Bunny and Payday Hope.

Juno Bunny is a maiden and Payday Hope has won just once in seven tries, but both of the fillies are well-drawn in the middle of the field and either could sneak into the trifecta with a top effort.