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Height of Summer opens meet with Inaugural win


October 9, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Portland, OR (Oct. 8, 2006) The beginning of the 60th year in racing at Portland Meadows saw Height of Summer capture the Sunday afternoon featured Inaugural Handicap.

Height of Summer, owned by Preston Boyd and trained by Shawna Whiteside, pressed the pace racing along the inside with Mountain Mustang and Lethal Grande on his flank.

Entering the top of the lane, rider Joe Crispin opened up on his charge, stepped on the gas and got the run out of him he needed to fend off a hard closing Slewicide Cruise.

We broke really sharp, said Crispin. I just laid up inside Clarks horse (Mountain Mustang) and kept my eye on Lethal Grande.

I was most worried about the favorite (Slewicide Cruise), he continued. He has some late run in him so at about the quarter pole I got into him a little bit and when Lethal Grande came out [in the three path] I just went with him.

Lethal Grande, winner of the 2003 edition of this event, faded at the head of the lane.

I knew around the 5/16ths pole I could win this if I could hold off Slewicide Cruise. But when we hit the eighth pole I knew I had to work a little harder because he came at me.

The Inaugural marked the first training stakes win for Shawna Whiteside.

It feels great, Whiteside said. Its like when I won my first race as a jockey, that feeling of working hard and reaching the ultimate goal.

Whiteside was approached this past summer by owner Preston Boyd at Walla Walla, asking her level of interest in conditioning some of his horses.

We were delighted to train for Preston, Whiteside said. I liked what I saw when he ran in Seattle and I knew I had a stakes winner on my hands down here.

Whiteside was correct in her assessment and will now give the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Souvenir Copy out of Fly First Class a rest.

I am going to turn him out for the winter and give him a break, she said.

Height of Summer completed the 6-furlong test in 1:12, beating Slewicide Cruise by 1 -lengths. He returned $16.20 and $7.00.

Slewicide Cruise was second to return $2.80.

Lethal Grande was third. There was no show wagering in the five-horse field.

In other racing news on the day, jockey Jerry Remer experienced racings highs and lows in one afternoon. Kicking off the 60th year in racing by winning the first race of the day by a nose - a quarter horse event aboard Foxy Tejon which resulted in a $44.20 return. He then captured the first Thoroughbred event of the day in the third race aboard Nifty Copy, drawing clear of the field by nine lengths.

Later, Remer was one of two riders who sustained injuries in a fall in the seventh race. Fellow rider Jose Rivera, Jr. was aboard Snowy River Slew who sustained injuries to his front legs thereby throwing Rivera to the ground. Remer, aboard the inside horse, Shotmo, clipped heels with the fallen horse, subsequently catapulting Remer off his charge.

Both jockeys were taken to Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. Rivera complained of an injury to his right shoulder. Remer spoke of pain to his neck, back, left hip and upper leg.

Shotmo returned to the barn unhurt while Snowy River Slew was euthanized.