The Racing Journal Logo

Oregon-breds all set for Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino this Sunday

November 16, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Fifty-three Oregon-breds will go to post in seven stakes races that make up the majority of Oregon Championship Day, presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. This special, all-Oregon-bred card of racing takes place this Sunday November 18, 2012 and features the best of Oregon racing.

The $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity is the headliner on the day, with 10 runners set to compete in the one-mile event for two year olds. Bill Wineberg Stakes winner Cantchaco and Janet Wineberg Stakes winner Calypsonoted are the marquee names, as both were impressive winning their respective Wineberg events. Cantchaco made his career debut in the Bill Wineberg and went right to the front under jockey Marijo Terleski, holding off heavily favored Captainnotsosober, who is also entered in the Futurity. Cantchaco was bred in Oregon by owners Larry and Gay Welliver and is trained by Carol Duby.

Calypsonoted is also a homebred and has been perfect in two starts for owner/trainer/breeder Eric Jensen. Calypsonoted dominated the Janet Wineberg winning by 13½ lengths under a hand ride from jockey Luis Torres.

“She’s really training so well,” said trainer Eric Jensen. “She continues to get better, and I don’t think the distance will be a problem for her.”

Captainnotsosober was an impressive debut winner, scoring by more than 10 lengths in his career debut, and finished a good second behind Cantchaco last time out in the Bill Wineberg Stakes. He was bred in Oregon by Bar C Racing Stables and is owned by Brent and Julie Christopherson.

“He wasn’t quite on his toes for that last one,” said trainer Patti Harris. “I think he’ll get the distance and should improve.”

Trainer Ben Root has four of the 10 runners in the Don Jackson Futurity and has been pointing his 2-year-olds towards this race for quite a while.

“Oregon Championship Day is something we always point to from the day the horses are born out at my parents farm in Newberg,” said Root. “Oregon Championship Day is a day for us to run for big purses and we always take pride in trying to win these races.”

Maximatic, Jack The Pirate, Stately Skyshooter, and Van Glorious make up the Root contingent nominated for the Don Jackson Futurity. Van Glorious comes off a third-place finish in the Bill Wineberg Stakes while stablemate Jack The Pirate was a late closing fourth that day, and came back to break his maiden in impressive fashion next start out. Maximatic recently broke his maiden and Stately Skyshooter is still a maiden after two starts.

Six go to post in the $12,500 Lethal Grande Sprint Championship, which looks to be a tough contest. Middas Gold Touch is a multiple stakes winner at Portland Meadows and was recently second behind Shamundi in an allowance sprint. In that allowance, he finished ahead of Ricky Ricky, who will be one of his main competitors in the Lethal Grande. Middas Gold Touch will be making his third straight appearance in an Oregon Championship Day event. He was third in the Bill Wineberg Stakes at 2 and came back to run fourth in the Oregon His Stakes last year.

Ricky Ricky was second in last year’s Lethal Grande Sprint Championship and took the Oregon His Stakes on Oregon Championship Day in 2010. He will be making his fifth start for owners Nordic Stable and trainer Bennie Webb since they claimed him for $5,000 back on September 3.

LG Jet makes his return to the races in the $12,500 Oregon His Stakes after winning last year’s Oregon Championship Day race for 2-year-olds and the Oregon Breeders’ Derby on February 20 to close out his season. He was given some time off by his owners Leonard and Georgeanne Hammrich but has been back at the track training over the last few months in the Patti Harris barn. A winner of four of five career races, LG Jet has banked over $26,665 in his career.

A pair of $2,500 Starter Handicaps, the Confederate Tribes of the Grand Ronde for the female runners at six furlongs and the Spirit Mountain Casino for the boys at six furlongs will make up the remainder of the Oregon bred added money events.

First post is at 1:00 p.m. Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino begins with two trials to the Baxter Andruss Oregon Bred Futurity. The final is on December 2.

LG Jet set to take off in the $12,500 Oregon His

LG Jet spent the spring and summer of 2012 relaxing. After posting four wins from his first five career starts and racking up $26,655 in earnings to start his career, he had earned a little down time. So the three year old son of Harbor The Gold and Cheyenne Rose went back to where he was raised. His owners and breeders Leonard and Georgeanne Hammrich’s farm in Hayden Lake, Idaho, was where LG Jet got to spend his down time. Enjoying the picturesque beauty of the small rural area which sits just north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and only 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington, LG Jet was treated to six months of rest and relaxation. However, the time finally came for him to get back to work.

“He came back to training in early August,” said his trainer Patti Harris. “He’s been doing so well since he came back. He’s basically a really big athletic kid. Everything is easy for him. He goes out and has fun, and when he comes back, he’s always excited to eat.”

Standing seventeen hands, LG Jet is quite the sight in his stall. He’s a massively built horse, and like many of his Harbor The Gold siblings, he’s a beautiful chestnut color.

“It’s so funny because he’s so big and his mom is so small,” said Harris.

His mom Cheyenne Rose was also raced by the Hammrich’s. She began her career at Hastings Racecourse, but spent her last three races in 2002 and 2003 running at Portland Meadows. She gave birth to LG Jet on April 19, 2009.

LG Jet’s career began on the track up at Emerald Downs, when he took on five rivals in a maiden $25,000 claiming event on July 11, 2011. He finished sixth, beaten 15 lengths that day.

“Oh, that debut was just terrible,” said Harris. “He didn’t break, then he rushed up, and he was so green the whole race. I don’t think he liked the track either. He was just really super green that day.”

LG Jet was given some time off after that race and was brought down to Portland Meadows, where he made his local debut in a maiden special weight event on October 17th. He wasn’t respected in the odds that day, as he was sent off at 6-to-1, but he showed some ability, drawing off to win by 6¾ lengths under jockey Luis Torres. He came back five weeks later over a sloppy track and cleared his first level allowance condition, drawing off by four lengths.

Next up was his first try against stakes runners, in the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes on Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino last year. He was sent off as the heavy 1-to-5 favorite and went right to the lead, never looking back and winning with ease. He wrapped up his fantastic year with a win in the $20,000 Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders’ Derby going a mile on February 20.

After that win, LG Jet earned his time off, but since early August when he came back to Portland Meadows it has been all business.

“Luis Torres has been working him in the mornings and he’s been doing well.”

LG Jet is one of eight runners to go to post in the $12,500 Oregon His Stakes on Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino on Sunday. The race is at one mile and one sixteenth, so the challenge for LG Jet is getting the distance in his first start back off the layoff.

“The distance is a bit of a concern, because last time when he won going two turns, he had races under his belt recently,” said Harris. “His mom was a router though and we thought this spot might be easier since it’s against straight three year olds. We considered running him in a sprint, but that would have been against older horses.”

Cantchaco looking to prove he’s for real in the $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity

Cantchaco pulled off a 30-to-1 shocker in his career debut when he scored a victory in the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes on October 20. He won’t be nearly that price when he starts in the $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity on Sunday as part of Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. Cantchaco is a second generation homebred for owners and breeders Larry and Gay Welliver. They also bred and raced Cantchaco’s mom, Cant Woman, who was a two-time winner at Portland Meadows in 2006. Cant Woman was a claiming runner but her son has already proven himself a stakes winner and will try and make it two for two, with the Don Jackson being his first start around two turns.

“I’m not concerned about the distance,” said trainer Carol Duby. “With this horse, he’s still young and immature, but he’s a very efficient runner and has some ability.”

Cantchaco was born in McMinnville, Oregon, at the Welliver’s farm, and was broke by local trainer Roddina Barrett. When he came to the Duby barn to start his training career, he proved a bit of a challenge.

“He really has had trouble learning to steer and lead,” said Duby. “His adrenaline gets up when he’s training and he makes himself tough to steer. We’ve spent a lot of time working on his rating ability and steering ability. He’s a little opinionated and wants to do things on his own schedule.”

As the time for his career debut got nearer and nearer, the time to find a spot for his debut became the question.

“We looked for a spot in a race a week and a half before the Wineberg,” said Duby. “But he just wasn’t ready quite yet, so we entered the Wineberg. Then we drew the #1 hole and we actually talked about scratching. We just weren’t sure how he’d react to being on the inside like that.”

When the gates popped open, Cantchaco broke a little slow, but he quickly got into stride.

“He broke a little tardy and he’s scared of other horses,” said jockey Marijo Terleski. “So when the rail opened up he flew up and we slowed them down.”

Cantchaco went to the front and set reasonable fractions, and as they turned into the stretch, he had to brace for the challenge of heavily favored Captainnotsosober who came right to him at the head of the lane.

“That horse came to him, but once Marijo got him to switch leads he really found a new lease on life,” said Duby.

He switched leads and maintained his half-length advantage for the final furlong and won impressively in a time of 1:12.54 for the six furlongs. The win was a sweet one for the Wellivers, and a break from tradition for Larry Welliver.

“In the 35 years I’ve been married to my husband this is the first time he didn’t bet on a first time starter because he didn’t want to jinx it,” said Larry’s wife and co-owner Gay. “That really was a nice win.”

Midda’s Gold Touch hopes that third time is the charm on Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino

Midda’s Gold Touch has been a great addition to the Debbie Fergason barn over the last few seasons. She and husband Rolland have been owning and training racehorses in Oregon for decades and have had great success over the years at Portland Meadows, including several successes on Oregon Championship Day. Now it’s Midda’s Gold Touch’s turn, as he’ll be trying for the third time to get a win on Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino when he runs in the $12,500 Lethal Grande Sprint Championship on Sunday.

“He seems to prefer sprinting,” said Rolland Fergason. “He can route—in fact he put up the fastest route time of the last season—but his bread and butter is sprinting.”

Midda’s Gold Touch took a little time to figure the racing game out, and broke his maiden in his fourth career start at Portland Meadows back in November of 2010. He took his first run at an Oregon Championship Day stakes event just a month later when he ran third behind Shamundi in the Bill Wineberg Stakes.

Midda’s Gold Touch’s second try at winning an Oregon Championship Day race came last season when he finished fourth in the Oregon His Stakes.

Midda’s Gold Touch is a four times stakes winner at Portland Meadows including a win in last spring’s OHBPA Handicap going a mile. He came back this summer and made his debut in a very tough edition of the Inaugural Handicap and sputtered to a fifth place finish. He then dropped down into an allowance race his next time out on August 12th and finished a well-beaten fourth.

“He really wasn’t liking the track here earlier in the meet,” said Debbie Fergason. “We sent him up to Emerald and he ran a really good second in a $20,000 open claimer and since he’s been back here at Portland Meadows he’s been back on his game.”

Midda’s Gold Touch comes into this race off a very good second place finish behind Shamundi in an allowance race.

“He was running hard in that race,” said jockey Mark Anderson. “He got stuck on the rail which isn’t his favorite place to be, and by the time I got him outside, he came running hard, but unfortunately, Shamundi was just really good that day. He stopped the clock in 1:10 flat for six furlongs, which is smoking here.”

“He’s such a super fun horse,” said Debbie Fergason. “He really likes his job.”

Seattle Sailor Boy and Oregon Championship Day go hand in hand

Seattle Sailor Boy is a 9-year-old veteran who knows his way around Portland Meadows. In his fifty one race career, forty seven times he has gone to post here at Portland Meadows, earning eight local wins as well as twelve other on-the-board finishes and more than $41,000 in career earnings. He’s been a participant on Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino four times now and will be making his fifth showing on Sunday when he runs in the Spirit Mountain Casino Starter Handicap (first division) as part of the big day. Racing out of the barn of trainer Roger Stevenson for owner Terry Detz, Stevenson talks about his nine year old runner with great praise.

“He’s just a good working class horse,” said Stevenson. “If you look at his past performances he was pretty much given every summer off during his career and fifty one starts isn’t that many for a nine year old, and I think that’s a big reason why he’s still in the game and still running so hard.”

Seattle Sailor Boy was raced by trainer Leroy Twiggs for the first many years of his career, as his wife was also one of the breeders of the horse. Seattle Sailor Boy didn’t get started racing until his three year old year and broke his maiden at Portland Meadows in his third career start.

It wasn’t until his 4-year-old season that he showed up in his first Oregon Championship Day race, the Lethal Grande Oregon Sprint Championship in 2007. He ran a solid third that day behind Brave Hearted and Hunt For Glory, who were both huge favorites in that spot. Seattle Sailor Boy was back in the Lethal Grande Oregon Sprint Championship in 2008 and ran another third, chasing the beast Ex Mountain Cop, who dominated that afternoon as he did on many occasions. His next try on Oregon Championship Day in 2009 saw him finish a disappointing ninth in an Oregon Starter Stakes.

Seattle Sailor Boy continued racing in claiming events throughout 2010 and 2011, when on November 22, 2011, Detz and Stevenson reached in and claimed him for $3,200.

“We claimed him specifically to run him on Oregon Championship Day,” said Stevenson. “He ran a dull fifth that day, but since then he’s had a very useful season for us.”

So far in 2012 under Stevenson’s care, Seattle Sailor Boy has racked up three wins and three other on-the-board finishes for over $10,000 in earnings. A speed horse for much of his career, Seattle Sailor Boy now generally employs a stalking style.

“I think as he’s gotten older, he’s maybe lost a step or two of his early speed,” said Stevenson. “But I think that’s a good thing because it allows him not to use himself up early and he’s shown a good closing kick. He’s the kind of horse that’s always going to try and always going to leave his best race out on the track. He’s never going to cheat you on effort, and that’s really all we can ask of him.”