02/18/2012 11:53AM

Portland: L G Jet tries to stay perfect at meet in Oregon Breeders Derby


L G Jet will try to cap an undefeated season at Portland Meadows on Monday with a victory in the $20,000 Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Derby.

L G Jet, a son of Harbor the Gold, has scored three straight victories here, including a wire-to-wire score in the six-furlong Bill Wineberg on Dec. 11. Saturday’s race at one mile will be his first around two turns.

The distance is no concern to L G Jet’s trainer John Harris. L G Jet’s breeding suggests he’ll handle the distance with runners such as Buckpasser and Northern Dancer in his pedigree.

Harris says the gelding, who was 3-10 in the Wineberg and is the even-money morning-line favorite for the Derby, has never really been asked for speed.

“I’m not in favor about speed even being a Quarter Horse trainer,” he said. “He’s a horse content to run wherever you put him. He doesn’t have to be on the lead. He’s not skittish and doesn’t mind sand being kicked in his face.”

Harris and most handicappers won’t be surprised to see L G Jet in front early.

“Even when he’s loping, he covers ground,” Harris said of his star’s high cruising speed.

L G Jet has only two works in the nine weeks since his last stat. The most recent, a half-mile drill on Feb. 4 was a 49.80-second bullet work.

“We’re ready,” said Harris. “We couldn’t get any race to fill. He’s stayed in training, but we haven’t pushed on him that hard. When he does work, he puts a lot into it.”

Despite showing speed, L G Jet has finished well in each of his starts. Although Slew the Cat did cut into L G Jet’s lead a bit in the Wineberg to get within 2 1/2 lengths at the wire, Harris said, “I told the jockey if he was ahead not to push on him.”

Slew the Cat has been the runner-up to L G Jet in his past two starts. He has worked regularly since the Wineberg.

Suesawme, third by 13 lengths in the Wineberg, will also run despite a dull try in a $6,250 claimer since that race.

Recent maiden winner Lil Red Rockstar and maidens Good Cop, Kodye’s King, and Captain Gavel round out the field.

Earlier on the card, the $10,000 Oregon Ms. at one mile seems a much more contentious race than the Derby.

Bahati Gold, who won a maiden race after missing by a nose in the Janet Wineberg is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Kenzie Carolina, a maiden who was third in her debut in the Janet Wineberg is listed at 3-1.