02/23/2007 12:00AM

Tom Two comes into Portland Mile in peak form


PORTLAND, Ore. - With the exception of the Lynn Homer-trained Derby Rider, who was recently claimed for $16,000 at Golden Gate, the cast for Sunday's 40th running of the Portland Meadows Mile has a familiar look.

That's just fine with trainer Delmer Webb, who will shoot for his third Portland Meadows Mile when he sends out Tom Two.

"There is usually a tough horse or two from Emerald Downs, but we won't have to deal with that this year," said Webb. "I think with the purse only being $25,000 this year, and with the Mile being run earlier in the meet, it just wasn't as attractive as a prep for the Emerald meeting.

"I wish the purse were bigger, but on the other hand the local guys will have a better chance to get a piece of it. I think that's a fair trade."

Although 2004 Portland Meadows Mile winner Lethal Grande figures to be favored, and Crimson Design, who upset Lethal Grande in the recent Governor's Speed Handicap, will receive strong backing as well, Webb said he feels Tom Two will pose a legitimate threat. A multiple stakes winner here at 2 and 3, Tom Two comes off a seven-length score over allowance company in his first start as a 4-year-old, going a mile on Feb. 11. He earned a career-best 77 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I think that might have been the best race he ever ran," said Webb. "He seems to have made the transition from 3 to 4 really nicely, and he is coming up to the Mile just right. Of course he is probably best when he can set the pace, and that won't be so easy to do with Lethal Grande in the field. He has won from off the pace, though, and I think if he can stay in the clear he will be just fine. It should be a really interesting race."

Fergason's 'other' filly beats favorite

Silver Patrona had her win streak snapped at five in last Sunday's featured invitational handicap for 3-year-old fillies at a mile, but trainer Jim Fergason wasn't too disappointed with her second-place finish at 2-5. It helped that another Fergason trainee, Bagels Baby, was the one to pull off the upset. Bagels Baby collared her stablemate at the sixteenth marker and drew off to a two-length win in 1:44.80.

"I thought they both ran well under the circumstances," said Fergason. "Silver Patrona ran a little too hard in her previous race. She was coming off a layoff and I didn't get to train her much because of the frozen track, so that race took something out of her. I think she'll run better next time. If somebody had to break her streak, I guess it is just as well that Bagels Baby was the one to do it. That takes some of the sting out of it."

Fergason said both fillies will likely run back in the $10,000 Mary Goldblatt Stakes for Oregon-bred 3-year-old fillies at a mile on March 12.

Sneak Bac earns a vacation

Sneak Bac solidified her status as the meeting's top Quarter Horse with an authoritative 1 3/4-length victory over persistent rival Eyes Okey in last Sunday's 440-yard Portland Meadows Championship, bringing her record at the stand to 4 wins from 6 starts. Trainer Scott Raley said Sneak Bac, a 5-year-old daughter of Splash Bac who races for Gary Chumbley, will probably not run again at the meet.

"I think I'll give her a rest now and bring her back at Sun Downs in the spring," Raley said. "There is a filly and mare Challenge race for her there, and if she wins that it will make her eligible for a big race at Los Alamitos at the end of the year."

My Crowning Glory retired

Owner and trainer Wayne Burger reported that My Crowning Glory, who dominated the Quarter Horse ranks here at the last two meetings, has been retired and will be bred to the Texas-based stallion Royal Quick Dash.

My Crowning Glory, a 7-year-old daughter of Crowning Season, won 10 straight races at Portland Meadows between February 2005 and last April. She seemed to have lost a step at this meeting and was winless in seven starts, but she never stopped trying and never finished worse than fourth.

"She gave 110 percent all the time," said Burger. "She has been a super mare."

My Crowning Glory goes to the breeding shed with 14 wins from 41 starts for $52,184 in earnings.

Three honors for Pure as Gold

The Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association was scheduled to hold its annual awards banquet on Saturday in the Portland Meadows turf club. The event honors the 2006 Oregon-bred champions.

Washington's version of the awards banquet was held last Saturday, and Pure as Gold was honored as the state's champion sprinter, champion handicap male, and horse of the year. Pure as Gold won 5 of 11 starts last year, including the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar, for $434,040 in earnings.

Other divisional awards went to Queenledo (older filly or mare), Fast Parade (3-year-old and turf horse), She's All Silk (3-year-old filly), Immigration (2-year-old), and Judicature (2-year-old filly.

* Bret Anderson, who has served as assistant racing secretary at Emerald Downs since the track opened in 1996, has been elevated to the position of racing secretary. Anderson replaces Paul Ryneveld, who has accepted the position of equine manager for Fairplex Park.