12/13/2003 12:00AM

Nomoreskoal tries to keep streak going


PORTLAND, Ore. - Nomoreskoal will attempt to make it three wins in a row when he heads a field of eight in Monday's best race at Portland Meadows, a mile event for older horses eligible to be claimed for $5,000 down to $4,000.

Nomoreskoal, an 8-year-old son of Carson City from the barn of trainer Jonathan Nance, defeated $3,200 claimers at a mile by 3 1/2 lengths on Nov. 16 and beat $4,000 company at 1 1/16 miles by a nose on Dec. 1. Both of those races were run over sloppy tracks, so the rain forecast for this weekend should not hinder his chances. Neither will the presence of leading rider Juan Gutierrez, who returns to ride at 121 pounds.

Thunder Zoot and Tissington, a pair of Portland Meadows specialists, figure to offer the sternest challenges to Nomoreskoal, the likely favorite.

Thunder Zoot has won 7 of 18 tries at Portland, and he has done his best work at a mile. Trained by owner Sam Dronen, Thunder Zoot came off a layoff and finished an even seventh against $5,000 company at six furlongs on Nov. 29. A long-winded son of Demons Begone, Thunder Zoot has never been an accomplished sprinter and should improve with more ground. Shawna Barber rides at 117 pounds.

Tissington, a 9-year-old who races for trainer Jim Keen, has won 10 of his 43 local outings. He, too, has traditionally done his best work around two turns, but he is coming off victories in the 6 1/2-furlong Rocking Chair Handicap at Grants Pass and in a six-furlong test for $6,250 claimers over this track on Nov. 8. Danny Boag has the riding assignment at 119 pounds.