09/01/2012 3:42PM

Portland Meadows: When We Met stands out in Portland Meadows Mile


Two Northern California invaders look like they have a class edge on the Northwest locals in the $35,000 Portland Meadows Mile on Monday. Eight 3-year-olds and up meet in the Mile, which is one of six Thoroughbred stakes on the Portland Meadows card.

When We Met, the 9-5 favorite, has been competitive against much better at Golden Gate Fields and on the California fair circuit. Deacon Speakin’, 3-1 on the morning line, showed signs of life in the claiming ranks in his last start after a string of mediocre efforts against stakes and allowance company.

Among the top Northwest-based runners in the Mile are Shamundi (9-2), who won the six-furlong Inaugural at Portland Meadows in July and comes off a fifth-place finish for a $17,500 tag at Emerald Downs; Memo to Mya (5-1), a speedy Idaho-bred who followed a third in the Inaugural with a pair of restricted stakes victories at Boise; and Lesson in Deceit (8-1), who has been first or second in stakes or allowance company at Boise in his last four starts.

When We Met finished a wide-running sixth last out in the Joseph T. Grace on the Santa Rosa turf, but his race before that, a fourth-place finish in the Alamedan on the Pleasanton dirt, stands out in the Mile field. When We Met chased Grade 2 winner Gladding in that 1 1/16-mile race July 1 and tired to finish fourth behind that foe, beaten 7 1/4 lengths. It’s unlikely any of his Monday opponents could run with a horse like Gladding, nor do any of them appear capable of coming close to When We Met’s Beyer Speed Figure of 90 from that race.

When We Met has been trained by William Morey Jr. in Northern California and will run for Felimon Alvarado at Portland. He will be ridden by Anne Sanguinetti.

Deacon Speakin’ is the kind of horse who runs equally well on turf, dirt, or synthetic. His rallying third for a $25,000 claiming tag on the Golden Gate turf Aug. 25 showed he may be returning to form. Deacon Speakin’ has been racing for trainer Frank Lucarelli and has Steve Fisher named as his trainer for the Mile. Luis Torres will ride.

Memo to Mya has sprinter’s speed and no doubt will try to go to the front from his inside post. He comes off a 6 1/4-length romp in the Idaho Cup Classic going a mile.