Updated on 09/16/2011 6:44AM

Portland is cut short


PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Meadows meeting, which was supposed to stretch 80 days through April 28, will close Feb. 10 after 46 days of racing. The early closing is because the track's operator, Magna Entertainment, will not be able to fulfill its agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to complete a new waste water disposal system by Feb. 15.

Magna has not yet begun construction on the system because of delays in negotiating a consent decree with the EPA. An agreement on the decree, which, among other items, lays out the penalties which Magna would be subject to if extraordinary rainfall caused water to escape its new disposal system, was reached last week.

Magna expects to begin the $700,000 project this month and complete it before April 15. After that date the company will be subject to fines of $1,000 per day if the system is not operational.

Completion of the waste water disposal system will allow Magna to reopen Portland Meadows for training this summer and to proceed with plans to stage three more seasons of racing at the track, which it has leased through April 2005. By that time Magna plans to have built a new track on land it has optioned near Wilsonville, south of Portland.

Dave Benson, president of the Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has told horsemen that simulcasting will continue at Portland Meadows through the end of its scheduled meeting, and that purse money accruing from simulcast wagering will be used to supplement purses at the next Portland Meadows meet and perhaps this year's Grants Pass meeting.

Benson said the HBPA is looking into the possibility of expanding the 2002 meet at Grants Pass, which is scheduled to run 16 days beginning Memorial Day, May 27. He also said that in an attempt to maximize opportunities for horsemen to earn purse money before the current meet closes, the track will stage 14 races on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10.

"This isn't the outcome we hoped for," said Ron Sutton, a horse owner and member of the Oregon HBPA's board. "It will be a hardship for a lot of people. Still, we got to run 46 days, and that is 46 more days than we would have gotten to run if we hadn't agreed to the Feb. 15 deadline.

"We promised to move out if the system wasn't completed by that date, and we are going to live up to the agreement."

Yesss scores wire-to-wire victory

Pace made the race in Sunday's $8,450 William Kyne Handicap for older runners, and Yesss made the pace all by his lonesome. Under Twyla Beckner at 119 pounds, the 4-year-old Yesss went to the front at the start and opened up three lengths after a half-mile in a reasonable 47.88 seconds, then maintained that advantage to the wire in 1:54.04 for the nine furlongs, paying $6.60 to win.

Chinquapin Charlie, the 125-pound highweight and 8-5 favorite, got second by a length over stablemate Fly Buddy Fly.

"Twyla rode him just the way I asked her to," said Delmer Webb, owner and trainer of Yesss. "It was clear that our horse was the speed of this field, so I told her not to make it easy on the closers by going too fast.

"He had been training really well, and I was hoping for a big effort, but it is tough for a 4-year-old to beat older horses this early in the year. He is beginning to remind me of his sister."

Yesss, a half-brother to former Oregon horse of the year Cyamaria, has now won four stakes in two campaigns at Portland Meadows. Cyamaria won nine stakes in two campaigns here, but was retired early in her 4-year-old season.

"I just hope this one lasts longer," Webb said.