11/08/2001 1:00AM

Promising field, slim credentials


PORTLAND, Ore. - Seven graduates of last year's Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association sale will compete over five furlongs in Saturday's $6,750 OTBA Sales Stakes at Portland Meadows.

Promise is more abundant than accomplishment in the field of unraced or lightly raced 2-year-olds, with only two of the entrants sporting a maiden win. Threeupthreedown, who is one of four fillies in the field, defeated maiden special weight company over two furlongs here in the spring, then came back to run a close fourth to Jimbos Valentine in the 4 1/2-furlong Kindergarten Stakes on April 29.

Gammagoat Kid graduated from the maiden ranks just last Sunday, posting an easy score over $10,000 company going 4 1/2 furlongs.

Black Barry Velvet just missed in her only start last spring, falling a nose short of Jimbos Valentine in a two-furlong race for maiden special weight runners on April 21, and then was flattered when the winner returned to score in the Kindergarten eight days later.

Lethal Grande acquitted himself well in his only start, Oct. 27, finishing a close third to Brass Halo in a maiden special weight race at 4 1/2 furlongs. Brass Halo came back to be beaten just a half-length while finishing third in last Sunday's Columbia River Stakes.

Lethal Grande, a son of Corslew who races for trainer Pat Sonnen, has an edge in recency over all but Gammagoat Kid and appears the one to beat off his sharp debut. Sonnen has named Juan Gutierrez to ride at 120 pounds.

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