10/19/2004 11:00PM

Slewicide Cruise calls it a year

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Reed Palmer Photography
A budding star in the Northwest, Slewicide Cruise wins the Inaugural Handicap at Portland Meadows. It was his third straight impressive win.

PORTLAND, Ore. - It will be three and out for Slewicide Cruise.

After Slewicide Cruise scored his third straight impressive victory in Saturday's $10,000 Inaugural Handicap at Portland Meadows, trainer Robbie Baze announced that the 4-year-old colt will be turned out until next spring.

"It's hard to stop on them when they are as sharp as he is now, but we want to have a nice horse for next year," said Baze. "We have high hopes for him next year."

If the 4-year-old progresses as much in the next 12 months as he did in the last year, there's no question he will be among the elite in the Northwest. Since entering last year's Portland Meadows meeting as a maiden, Slewicide Cruise has won five races, including back-to-back stakes in the Chinook Pass at Emerald and the Inaugural here.

Slewicide Cruise was 2-5 in the Inaugural, despite a high weight package of 125 pounds, including jockey Debbie Hoonan, but gave his backers scant cause for concern. He stumbled out of the gate, but Hoonan allowed him to cruise up alongside the pacesetting Mythical Road before going a quarter mile in 22.92 seconds. He put away that rival before going a half-mile in 45.68, then drew out to score by 4 1/4 lengths over the fast-finishing Yesss in 1:09.76, less than a second off Lethal Grande's track record of 1:09 for six furlongs.

"It took him a couple of jumps to get his legs under him, but once he did that it was all over," said Hoonan. "I didn't even uncock my stick. He was just the best horse."

Baze and Hoonan start fast

Slewicide Cruise capped a banner opening day for Baze and Hoonan, both of whom are here full-time for the first time this year. The trainer and jockey teamed for three wins on Saturday, and Hoonan also won races for trainers Jim Keen and Jim Fergason.

It was more of the same on Sunday, when Hoonan rode two winners for Baze and one for trainer G.D. Khalsa, and after the first three days of racing Baze was the leading trainer with 5 wins from 12 starters and Hoonan was the leading jockey with 9 wins from 22 mounts.

"It's great to get off to such a good start," said Hoonan. "I haven't ridden here since I was a bug in 1987."

Hoonan didn't ride anywhere for 12 years, while struggling with weight. She returned at the most recent Emerald Downs meet, and won 52 races to rank eighth in the standings. She won the Lindy Award for riding excellence and sportsmanship at the Emerald meet.

One Fast Trick goes for the gold

One Fast Trick moved to within one win of collecting a $100,000 bonus on Sunday, when she qualified for the Withnell Dodge Northwest Open Futurity, which will be run at 400 yards on Oct. 30. One Fast Trick dead-heated for the win in the first of two trial races on Sunday to remain undefeated after five starts.

The $100,000 bonus goes to any horse who sweeps the Portland Meadows Futurity here in the spring, the Withnell Dodge Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass in the summer, and the Withnell Dodge Northwest Open Futurity here in the fall. The bonus is the brainchild of the board of the Oregon Quarter Horse Racing Association, which purchased an insurance policy to cover the bonus. This is the first year for the bonus, and breeder, owner, and trainer Ron Raley has a shot to win it with One Fast Trick, an Oregon-bred daughter of Dash Ta Fame and Lht Dashing Easy, by Dashing Val.

"After she won the futurity at Grants Pass, I decided to take her home and bring her back fresh for the third leg of the triple crown," said Raley. "We don't have many chances to win $100,000 in Oregon, and I didn't want to take a chance on getting her hurt by racing her."

Raley's strategy has paid off so far, but winning the last leg of the Oregon Quarter Horse triple crown won't be easy. One Fast Trick just got up to dead-heat with Sheza Teresa in Sunday's first trial, which was run in 20.40 seconds. The second trial was won by One Fast Okie in a faster 20.33.

"Sometimes a 2-year-old can really stand out in the spring, but by fall there are horses who have caught up," Raley said. "I'm not getting carried away about how good my filly is, but I sure hope she can win one more."

Sanguinetti, 19, rides second winner

Ten-pound apprentice Anne Sanguinetti notched her first win at Portland Meadows on Monday when she rode Hold the Gold to a four-length victory for trainer Len Kasmerski.

Sanguinetti, 19, worked for trainer Dennis Ward before launching her riding career. She won her first race at the Bay Meadows Fair on Aug. 15. Monday's score was the second of her career.

Sanguinetti had an excellent teacher in Ward, who once was the nation's leading apprentice in races won before the days of Eclipse Awards. Ward also guided the early career of his son, Wesley, who won an Eclipse Award as the nation's leading apprentice in 1984, and he started current Southern California rider Luis Juaregui on his career.