Defending champion Charlie's Pride is part of a field of nine that will assemble Sunday afternoon for the Portland Meadows Mile Handicap, the signature event of the Delta Park, Ore., racetrack.
Charlie’s Pride willl be facing the race’s 2004 victor and two-time Oregon Horse of the Year Lethal Grande, plus multiple stakes winner Tom Two and Crimson Design in the $25,000-added stakes for older horses.
Making his first start since a sixth-place finish at Vancouver's Hastings Park in May 2006, Charlie’s Pride is a lightly raced 6-year-old Kentucky bred son of Indian Charlie out of Juba Jane (Big Mukora). Perfect in four starts at Portland Meadows, he’ll carry 118 pounds including jockey Marijo Terleski from gate six for trainer Robert G. Pierce.
Just inside of him, breaking from post five, is Lethal Grande, who carries an impressive career record of 22-15-10 from 67 tries with $356,769 in earnings. Currently the leading earner for Oregon-bred males, he is second in on the all time Oregon bred earnings list to Revillew Slew's $383,824.
While racing at Portland Meadows, Lethal Grande has never been off the board, posting a 9-4-2 record from 15 attempts. Owned by Eleutherios Georgeopoulos and trained by Tom Longstaff, the Oregon favorite is 3-0-1 from five starts since they claimed him for $32,000 at Hastings. This season, Lethal Grande has added the 2006 Oregon Sprint Championship to a resume that includes the OTOBA Sales Stakes and Bill Wineberg (2001), the Governor’s Speed, and Inaugural Handicaps (2003).
Assigned the high weight of 126, Lethal Grande will have Leanne Painter in the irons. The Canadian born Painter rode Lethal Grande to victory over the track in an invitational handicap in November. Since then, she has shifted her tack to Turf Paradise in Arizona. They are the lukewarm morning line favorite at 3-1.
Crimson Design breaks from post eight while carrying 122 lbs., including leading rider Joe Crispin. A 6-year-old Washington bred son of Cisco Road, Crimson Design has enjoyed most of his success at Portland Meadows, where he has won six of 12 career starts.
A winner of the Auburn Handicap at Emerald Downs at 3, he was third behind Demon Warlock and My Friend Dave in the 2004 edition of the PM Mile. He has since won the last two editions of the Governor’s Speed Handicap.
Tom Two, who will break from the rail with Gallyn Mitchell aboard, is third choice at 5-1 while carrying 120. A winner of nine races in his career, seven of them from 11 starts at Portland Meadows, this 4-year-old Oregon-bred son of Free At Last out of Sushi Q. (Seafood) has earned $111,459 in his career. He most recently defeated five foes in an allowance event.
$25,000-added Portland Meadows Mile Handicap
(Race 8, 3:54 p.m.), 4 & Up
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, M/L
1. Tom Two, G. Mitchell, 120, 5/1
2. Raggidy Rowe, J. Remer, 118, 8/1
3. Brave Hearted, M. Peery, 116, 15/1
4. Knightsbridge Road, C. Jones, 118, 8/1
5. Lethal Grande, L. Painter, 126, 3/1
6. Charlie’s Pride, M. Terleski, 118, 6/1
7. Derby Rider, J. Ortega, 119, 6/1
8. Crimson Design, J. Crispin, 122, 4/1
9. Hunt for Glory, J. Zunino, 116, 10/1