12/12/2002 12:00AM

Yada Yada Yada fitter for second start


PORTLAND, Ore. - Trainers Nick Lowe and Cookie Root are both looking for a big day on Saturday, when five stakes and four starter handicaps will highlight a program devoted exclusively to Oregon-breds. But both will not get the prize they want most.

The hopes of the two trainers will collide in the day's feature, the $25,015-added Oregon Futurity at one mile, which will feature a rematch between the Lowe-trained Yada Yada Yada and the Root-trained Stately Jack Flash. The two homebreds, both of whom race for the family of their trainer, first met in the Bill Wineberg Stakes on Nov. 17. Yada Yada Yada won his debut and upset the heavily favored Stately Jack Flash by a length in 1:13.20 for six furlongs.

"That was one of the most fun wins I've ever had, both because he was our own horse and because it was totally unexpected," Lowe said. "I've always liked him, but he had been sick and I thought for sure he'd be short [on conditioning]."

Yada Yada Yada is a son of the Seattle Slew stallion Can't Be Slew and is out of Newbury Street, a winning half-sister to three major stakes winners with combined earnings of over $900,000. Yada Yada Yada will be attempting two turns off a single sprint prep, but Lowe feels his runner is ready for the challenge.

"He is much more fit for this race than he was for his debut," Lowe said. "I've really trained him pretty hard for this, so if he gets beat it won't be because he isn't tight enough.

"The other thing is that he is a lot higher now than he was before, and I don't know whether that's good or bad. The race really woke him up, and I've had to train him harder than I really wanted just to keep his feet on the ground. I'm hoping he'll settle on Saturday, or it will be hard for him to get a mile no matter how fit he is."

Lowe will also send out Our Lucky Kiss as the likely favorite in the six-furlong Jane Driggers Debutante for 2-year-old fillies. Our Lucky Kiss, a daughter of Swiss Yodeler who races for California resident Howard Siegel, ran second to males in the OTBA Stallion Stakes before winning the Janet Wineberg Stakes. She then returned to run second to the Washington-bred Back Street Gal as the favorite in the Lassie Stakes at six furlongs on Nov. 30.

"I don't think she was going to beat Back Street Gal that day, but she had an uncomfortable trip from the rail post and I was proud of her for holding second," Lowe said. "She is just a very tough filly and a professional through and through, so I never worry about her. I know she'll try hard and give her best."

After her loss to Yada Yada Yada in the Bill Wineberg, Stately Jack Flash was fitted with blinkers and taken off the early pace in the Columbia River Handicap on Dec. 1. She responded with a breakout performance, defeating the classy Washington-bred Knightsbridge Road by a half-length in 1:12 for six furlongs.

"He showed us a new dimension that day, and he came out of that race really well," said Cookie Root's assistant trainer, Dwayne Gallagher. "He has had a different attitude since that race. He is much more focused now. He has been training great, and we're looking forward to the rematch with Yada Yada Yada."

The Root barn will also send out Stately Jack Flash's 3-year-old full sister Stately's Choice to contest the Oregon Hers Stakes at a mile. Root will also saddle Fit to Bet, the winner of last year's Oregon Futurity, in the Oregon His Stakes, also at a mile.

"Stately's Choice has been a slow learner, but she broke well in her last two races and she seems to be coming around," Gallagher said. "We've always thought she had a lot of ability, and she should really prove herself around two turns.

"Fit to Bet ran a really nice second to older horses in his prep race, and he is more than ready to go a mile. He gives us three really solid shots on Oregon-bred Day, so we're looking to have a good weekend."

* Jack Root reported that he has added a seventh stallion to the roster at his Oakhurst Farm in Newberg, Ore. Ochoco, a regally bred son of Mr. Prospector and the Cox's Ridge mare Eaves, a half-sister to the top sire Boundary, will stand the upcoming breeding season in Oregon. Ochoco, a $3 million yearling purchase in 1999, won a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park before being retired with what was believed to be a neck injury.