04/13/2006 12:00AM

Tom Two will try to even score


PORTLAND, Ore. - Tom Two and Ballou Slew are rematched in Saturday's $10,000 Preview Stakes at Portland Meadows, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that has drawn a field of seven.

Tom Two and Ballou Slew first met in the six-furlong Flying Lark Stakes here in February, when Ballou Slew raced to a 4 1/2-length victory in only his second career start. On the strength of that win, Ballou Slew was sent to Golden Gate to take on four of the toughest 3-year-old sprinters on the grounds in an $80,000 optional claiming race March 10. He could do no better than fourth in that race, so he was returned here to meet older sprinters in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance March 26. Ballou Slew won that race by more than seven lengths. A son of Slewdledo trained by Jim Fergason, Ballou Slew will be trying two turns for the first time Saturday, when he will again be ridden by Clark Jones at 121 pounds.

Tom Two had a three-race winning streak snapped in the Flying Lark, in which owner and trainer Delmer Webb experimented by taking his blinkers off. The blinkers went back on for two subsequent starts, and Tom Two resumed his winning ways, with victories in the one-mile Greek Native Invitational Handicap in February and the 1 1/16-mile McFadden Memorial for Oregon-breds in March. Juan Gutierrez was up for both of those scores, and he again has the mount Saturday at 121 pounds.

Lawanda, a filly who won the April 1 running of the 1 1/16-mile Oregon Oaks by 9 1/4 lengths, will challenge the males.