11/24/2004 1:00AM

'Zip' could repeat in handicap


PORTLAND, Ore. - A full field of 12 older runners will contest Friday?s $10,000 Thanksgiving Handicap at Portland Meadows.

Favoritism is expected to be closely divided between Zip the Bright and Yesss in the one-mile stakes. Zip the Bright won last year?s Thanksgiving Handicap by a length over eventual Portland Meadows Mile winner Lethal Grande in 1:38, and Zip the Bright is coming up to this year?s edition in similar fashion. Zip the Bright, a 5-year-old son of High Brite who races for Hans Walter Hirth and trainer Henry Miller Jr., prepped with a good second to Star of Rehaan in a six-furlong overnight handicap on Nov. 6.

Yesss, a 6-year-old son of Abstract from the barn of trainer Delmer Webb, will be shooting for his eighth Portland Meadows stakes win in the Thanksgiving Handicap. Yesss ran fourth in last year?s renewal after prepping in a six-furlong allowance race. This year he has had two sprint preps, having run second to Slewicide Cruise in the Inaugural Handicap on opening day and fourth to Star of Rehaan in the Nov. 6 allowance.

Star of Rehaan, a wire-to-wire winner of the allowance prep, was unlucky to draw the outside post for Saturday?s stakes. Though he is probably the speed of the Thanksgiving Handicap field, he may have to be used hard to get to the front from the far outside, leaving him vulnerable late.

I Wood Be a Winner and Lovers Son, both trained by Jason Homer, are coupled.