02/08/2010 12:00AM

Two turns a new test for all seven


Trainer Ben Root thought he had a nice prospect after Smoken Sham overcame trouble to win his debut at Portland Meadows on Oct. 5. Victories in the Dennis Dodge Memorial there in his second start and Bill Wineberg in his third start only reinforced Root's opinion that he might have something special.

Then came the OTBA Stallion Stakes at Portland Meadows on Jan. 18.

Seven Torrents won the race as the 3-5 favorite, while Smoken Sham flattened out after making a good move into the stretch and finished fourth.

Root hopes to turn the tables Wednesday in the $40,000 Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Derby at Portland Meadows. The one-mile race will be the first around two turns for each of the seven 3-year-olds.

Seven Torrents returns and has a strong six-furlong work at Emerald Downs since his OTBA Stallion Stakes win. A Jim Penney-trained son of Cascadian, Seven Torrents should be able to dictate the pace, but the one-mile distance is a question.

Smoken Sham has the breeding to get a mile. His dam, Belle Fourche, is a stakes winner, while his sire, Seattle Shamus, won routing.