04/25/2010 11:00PM

Nance has tough duo for Mile run


A field of nine could make Wednesday's running of the $50,000 Portland Mile Handicap one of the most wide-open editions of Portland Meadows' premier race.

Listed as co-favorites at 5-2 are the multiple stakes winner Saratoga's Magic and Shem, a $50,000 claim at Golden Gate Fields earlier this year who just won a one-mile invitational handicap on April 7.

The race also includes a pair of Jonathan Nance-trained stablemates who are a combined 9 for 9 at Portland Meadows: Coronas at Delmar and Delaware Doe.

Coronas at Delmar, a $2,500 claim earlier this meet, won his last start, the March 17 Governor's Speed Handicap at six furlongs. Delaware Doe, who drew the rail, has won all four of his starts at Portland Meadows, including $6,250 claimers at one mile in his past two starts.

Numaany, who on Wednesday will be making his first start of 2010, won his final three starts and 5 of his past 6, all at Hastings. He is a distance specialist, so a mile in his first start of the year may not be asking too much.

Overtime Victory has won two straight claiming races at Portland Meadows. Tillman's Image lost by a nose to Shem in the invitational handicap and Stealth Attack was third in both the invitational handicap and the Governor's Speed Handicap. Primary Notices is shipping in from Golden Gate Fields.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who has 46 wins from 93 starters at the Portland Meadows meet, hopes that Saratoga's Magic can get his first victory since the Governor's Handicap at the California State Fair on Aug. 23, 2008. A 7-year-old gelding, he missed all of 2009 and has yet to hit the board in four starts this year.

Shem, a turf stakes winner, has good speed but has been willing to rate more of late.

In the companion feature, the $18,000 Donna Jensen Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, Monarchos Cassie, winner of two straight stakes here this year, faces a tough challenge from Hollendorfer's stakes winner Christmas Ship.

The Nance-trained Monarchos Cassie has scored wire-to-wire wins in the one mile and 70-yard City of Roses and a six-furlong invitational handicap. She will use her speed and a rail draw to dictate the pace.

She is the even-money favorite, while Christmas Ship, who has earned $211,395 while winning 3 of 31 starts, is listed at 7-5.