03/02/2006 1:00AM

Tom Two displays ability to win off the pace


PORTLAND, Ore. - Tom Two unveiled a new dimension in last Sunday's one-mile Greek Native Invitational Handicap at Portland Meadows, and trainer Delmer Webb said he feels it will come in handy down the road.

Under Juan Gutierrez, who was subbing for regular rider Javier Ortega, Tom Two came from fifth in a field of six 3-year-olds to defeat the good filly Lawanda by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:43.02. All five of his previous wins, including four stakes, had come on the engine.

"We really didn't plan for him to come from off the pace, but it is good to know that he can do it," said Webb. "It happens so often that something unexpected happens, and it teaches you something about your horse. Now that we know he can rate, it gives us more options."

Webb said Tom Two, a son of Free at Last and the good mare Sushi Q., will go next in the 1 1/16-mile McFadden Memorial for Oregon-breds on March 18. His ultimate goal is the $15,000 Oregon Derby at 1 1/8 miles on May 6.

Tom Two, who won the Oregon Futurity here on Dec. 31, is a half-brother to Futurity winners Cyamaria and Tom Won, as well as to multiple stakes winner Yesss. He would be Sushi Q.'s first offspring to win the Oregon Derby.

Silent Exploit regains sharp form

Silent Exploit re-established his credentials for upcoming stakes last Saturday when he defeated the previously unbeaten Speedy Wheatie by three-quarters of a length in the 5 1/2-furlong Larks Legacy Invitational Handicap.

Silent Exploit, a 4-year-old trained by Ben Root and ridden by Clark Jones, won the one-mile Tall Ben Invitational Handicap here in January, but finished fourth behind Charlie's Pride, Tamper, and My Friend Dave in a six-furlong allowance on Feb. 6.

"I think I was the one who got him beat in the allowance race," said Root. "I worked hard to stretch him out to a mile in the Tall Ben, but that left him flat when I returned him to a sprint. I realized I needed to sharpen him up for sprints and that was what I did this time. I blew him out a fast quarter-mile on Friday, and that put him on his toes."

Root said he will try to keep Silent Exploit in a speed mode through the six-furlong Governor's Speed Handicap on March 18, then stretch him out again for the $25,000 Portland Meadows Mile on April 8.

Jensen gets son of Fusaichi Pegasus

Trainer Eric Jensen is the proud owner of a newborn colt by 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Jensen said his good mare Flag Collector, the dam of Hastings track record holder Flying Memo, foaled the Fusaichi Pegasus colt last Friday at his farm in Harrodsburg, Ky.

"I haven't seen him yet, but they tell me he is a big, correct colt," Jensen said. "I'm pretty excited about him. I'm hoping he'll be 'the one.' "

Breeding to Fusaichi Pegasus wasn't cheap. At the time Jensen bred his mare to him, the stud fee was $100,000, plus $6,000 in sales tax. Jensen said he thought of an ingenious way to defray that expense that involved his mother, former Portland Meadows owner Donna Jensen, but she didn't fall for it.

"I told her I was going to name the colt Mom's Gift," he said. "The first thing she said was, 'I'm not paying for him.' I guess I'll have to think of another name."

Roberts does well in front of dad

Clint Roberts, who won three training titles at Longacres and several more at other Northwest tracks, was a visitor at Portland Meadows last weekend. Roberts, 76, retired from training in 1999, but remains in robust health.

"I'm still doing team-roping in rodeos, and I keep pretty busy on my place outside of Lewiston, Idaho," he said. "I have a few miles of fences, so I always have something to do."

Roberts saw his son, trainer Tom Roberts, saddle three winners from five starters last weekend. That was about par for the course, as the younger Roberts sent out two winners from three starters in his initial weekend of racing here, and won with six of seven starters here last season.

* Apprentice jockey Shawna Whiteside notched her first career win last Saturday, booting Golden Jive to victory for trainer Scott Freeman in the fifth race. Golden Jive was the 15th mount for Whiteside, who came back in Monday's nightcap to score her second victory with Okay Olay for trainer Pat Easley.

* Trainer Corky Caron reported that last season's horse of the meeting, My Friend Dave, has been sent to Golden Gate. Caron said G.D. Khalsa will care for My Friend Dave in California. Mark Rheinford will be the trainer of record.