Female Jockey Wins 3 Stakes at Portland

(from Portland Meadows report)
Portland Meadows drew a season-record 3,550 for Saturday's Oregon Championship Day. The fans saw leading female rider Twyla Beckner capture three of the five stakes races in the series.

Beckner began her milestone afternoon in the six-furlong Oregon Sprint Championship with Yesss, who upset Lethal Grande, the 2-5 favorite.

In her next race, Beckner took Cee Cruiser gate-to-wire in the Oregon His Stakes, drawing away to win by an authoritative 9 ¼ lengths.

Favored Houston Shuffle in the main event – the Os West Oregon Futurity – was perfect in three starts, including the OTBA Sales Stakes.

Houston Shuffle stalked a tepid pace with Beckner aboard Tom Won sitting comfortably third. With just over a quarter of a mile to the wire, Beckner kicked Tom Won into gear, splitting foes and taking the lead. The favorite faded quickly as Tom Won and Mythical Road fought to the wire. In the final 100 yards, Beckner and Tom Won pulled away.

"This is definitely one of the best days I've had in my career as a rider" Beckner said. "I won three races on Oregon Championship Day last year too ... but they weren't the stakes races. Today was a really good day."

Beckner is third in the rider standings with 27 wins, and leads the track's large female jockey colony in wins and money earned. After capturing the three stakes events, Beckner added the afternoon's finale for her fourth win of the day.

"The biggest winner today was the Oregon Racing faction" said track general manager Jeff Grady. "Magna Entertainment has been committed to Oregon Racing since day one of the acquisition and things have continued to change for the better. There is a genuine excitement here that horsemen and the people of Portland haven't seen or felt in years. With increases in handle and attendance, the sport of horse racing in Portland is no longer a well kept secret. We're back on the sports map and Oregon is watching."

Saturday's attendance for Oregon Championship topped PM's opening day's number of 2,231, which was the best opening day in seven years. Handle also continues to increase. A total $1,321,563 was wagered on Portland Meadows in the past three days of racing, topping last week's season-best total.

In the other stakes races Saturday, Belle Fourche captured the Jane Driggers Debutante Stakes under Scott Saito going gate to wire, drawing clear after setting a pressured pace.

In the Oregon Hers Stakes, Chancy Chancy and leading rider Juan Gutierrez, provided the most awesome single performance on the day with a 13 ½-length victory.

Racing at Portland Meadows continues on Monday at 1:35 p.m.

(Chart, Equibase)