05/03/2006 11:00PM

Tom Two faces Piracy


PORTLAND, Ore. - Tom Two will try to atone for a rare subpar outing in Saturday's $15,000 Oregon Derby, the final stakes of the 80-day meeting that ends on Sunday.

Tom Two, a son of Free at Last who races for trainer Delmer Webb, figures to inherit the role of favorite owing to the defection of divisional leader Ballou Slew, who is scheduled to run in Sunday's Auburn Stakes at Emerald Downs. Ballou Slew handed Tom Two his only two defeats from seven starts at the meeting. Tom Two ran second to Ballou Slew in the six-furlong Flying Lark Stakes in February, then was eased after failing to keep pace with Ballou Slew in last month's Preview Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Tom Two's subpar performance in the Preview broke a string of six straight exacta finishes. His wins at the stand include four stakes victories at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, plus a score in the Greek Native Invitational Handicap at a mile.

Tom Two may get his sternest challenge from Piracy, who has come to hand since being stretched out to two-turn racing. Piracy, a son of Tiffany Ice from the barn of trainer Nick Lowe, ran second to Tom Two in the 1 1/16-mile McFadden Memorial on March 18, then finished far ahead of Tom Two but second to Ballou Slew in the April 15 Preview.

Also a threat is Shoot the Alarm, a lightly raced son of Bagshot who is trained by Ben Root. Shoot the Alarm has raced only five times, but he is working on a three-race win streak and is proven around two turns, having defeated $8,000 company at a mile in his last outing.