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Riley Beaver seeks bonus on Championship Day, December 31


December 28, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Patrick Kerrison

Portland, OR – Oregon Championship Day, the premier afternoon of Thoroughbred racing in the state with seven stakes and handicap races, has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 31. That afternoon, one horse and his connections stand to earn a $30,000 bonus in the Os West Oregon Futurity.

Initially slated to take place on December 17, cold temperatures and inclement weather forced the cancellation of three days of racing at Portland Meadows that weekend, including Oregon Championship Day.

With the rescheduling, Oregon Championship Day also got bigger.

In addition to the aforementioned races, the Far West Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses--previously scheduled to run Sunday, December 18--will also be run on December 31.

Purses for the nine race card will exceed $140,000.

Highlighting Oregon Championship Day is the $40,000 Os West Oregon Futurity in which Riley Beaver and his connections stand to earn an additional $30,000 in bonus money.

Riley Beaver, named after the Oregon State University football coach, captured the OTBA Sales Stakes on November 5. Should he return December 31 to win the Os West, his owner Margaret Root will be awarded an additional $30,000 in bonus monies, compliments of the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

Trained by Root’s son, Ben, Riley Beaver is one of six horses he originally entered in the December 17 running. A total of 10 were expected to go to post.

For Ducks fans, it is the Nick Lowe trained Bellotti they’ll be rooting for. A winner of one of two starts, the two have met once, in a Maiden Special Weight event in which Riley Beaver bested the Duck coach namesake by only a length.

Also looking to thwart Root’s chances at the bonus money and winner’s purse will be morning line favorite Tom Two.

A winner of four races from 10 career starts, Tom Two is perfect in two Portland Meadows appearances. Three of his four wins have come in stakes events with leading rider Javier Ortega expected to retain the mount.

In the feature event for Quarter Horses, the $45,000 Far West Futurity, trainer Scott Raley will be busier than usual. He will be responsible for saddling half of the 10 horses originally slated to compete.

Raley’s Two Dash To Fame won the second of two trial events held December 4 at Portland Meadows, defeating Merris Jump Ta Fame by 1 ¾-lengths in a time of 20.47.
The initial trial went to Dave and Leah Nelson and The Victory Group’s Victorys Hope, which earned the fastest time of all entrants of 20.35. Trained by Jimmy Glenn, Jr., Victory’s Hope is one of two who will go to the Final for Glenn, Jr.

His second place finisher, Merris Jump Ta Fame, also makes it to the big dance for 2-year-olds.

Raley also trains the second place finisher to Victory’s Hope, CPR First Feature. He won this year’s Oregon-bred Juvenile Championship on November 13. Also in that event was Raley’s fourth place finisher Power N Fast, who was bumped repeatedly through the drive.

In Raley’s winning dash, he also finished third and fourth with Hope N Fast and CR Isle Be Baq, respectively.

“Yeah, it’s gonna be a busy time for me,” Raley conceded through a Cheshire cat grin. “But I reckon there are worse things, aren’t there?”

Portland Meadows will offer its buffet, including a herb encrusted baron of beef, slow roasted to perfection, Chicken Forester, potatoes, vegetables, salads, fresh fruit and an array of desserts, all for $15.00.

Reservations are recommended by calling 503-285-9144. Post time for Oregon Championship Day – Saturday, December 31 – is 12:35 p.m.