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Add the McFadden Memorial to Tom Two’s resume

March 20, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by courtesy Portland Meadows)
By Patrick J. Kerrison
Portland, OR – Tom Two earned his fifth major win of the meet Saturday afternoon, March 18, at Portland Meadows, capturing the $11,000 McFadden Memorial.

Off at 30 cents on the dollar, the son of Free At Last out of Sushi Q went straight to the front and never looked back, capturing the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:47 2/5.

Owned by Delmer and Shirley Webb and trained by the former, Tom Two set a quick first fraction of 22 3/5 seconds for the quarter then tempered it a bit to 47 seconds for the half.

“I didn’t want to get myself into any trouble out there,” said winning rider Juan Gutierrez. “I knew there were some horses in this who show early speed and I wanted to control the pace.”

“It looked like going to the front [quickly] was the only thing to do here,” said winning trainer Delmer Webb. “To tell the truth I wasn’t watching the fractions [during the race]. I was watching him.”

Up the backside, Tom Two had opened up a three-length advantage, rattling of three-quarters of a mile in 1:12 3/5.

“He felt good going into this race,” Gutierrez said. “He was a little sharper in the post parade than he was last time [winning the Greek Native Invitational Handicap]. I figured he’d break well today, but I wanted to make sure I saved enough horse for the stretch run.”

At the head of the lane, Gutierrez and Tom Two maintained their lead then finished under the wire 3 ˝-lengths to the good of Piracy.
Piracy, ridden by Javier Ortega, lacked early speed and steadily advanced on the field approaching the stretch. At the three-sixteenths pole he angled into an all-out drive. But as good a drive as he put forth he could not catch the winner and was clearly second best.

Tom Two’s victory has him an inch away from the $100,000 earnings mark with a total of $99,323 in earnings to his credit. His record has improved to 7-3-0 from 14 starts with a 5-1-0 from six tries at the Delta Park oval alone.

In his two-year-old year, he won the NWSS Strong Ruler Stakes at Emerald Downs, the Bill Wineberg, Columbia River Handicap and Os West Oregon Futurity at Portland Meadows.

Since turning three, he adds the McFadden Memorial to his Greek Native Invitational Handicap victory.

The Preview Stakes, a 1 1/16-miles event for 3-year-olds on April 15, will be Tom Two’s next venture at Portland Meadows according to Webb and after that the Oregon Derby (May 6) is a possibility.

“The Derby is still a question mark,” Webb said. “Starting out this meet I didn’t know we’d continue to do as well as we have been. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.”

The McFadden Memorial is named in honor of former State Senator Julian N. McFadden, the proverbial father of horse racing in Oregon. In 1933, McFadden wrote, and passed, the racing bill enabling the state of Oregon to run pari-mutuel wagering.