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Triple Dead Heat narrowly missed


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

By Patrick Kerrison

Portland, OR (Oct. 17)– Tuesday’s fifth race, a $3,200 claiming event for three year olds that have never won three races, came within an inch of making Portland Meadows history.

Best Hoff, a Ben Root trainee, fought gamely to capture the victory by a nose over Mr. Moose and On The Ridge who were knotted at the wire for second.

“He was passed at the sixteenth-pole,” Root said of the winner. “But Juan [Gutierrez] stuck with him, and he stuck with Juan, and together they fought gamely. It was a great effort by horse and rider.”

Returning $6.00 and finishing the event in 1:07 2/5, Best Hoff was sent off as the race favorite.

“Heck, either one of them could have smelled defeat at the sixteenth when they got passed by, but they didn’t quit. They still knew winning was an option.”

Best Hoff is owned by the appropriately named “Owners Stable” - a collection of race fans who are partners in the horse racing experience. The Owners Stable is owned and operated by Tom Thompson out of southern California.

They embarked on their northwest operations last summer with Root as their trainer in Washington. They have since expanded their operation this season, running horses in Oregon.

This is their third win with Best Hoff and their first at the Delta Park oval.

FOOTNOTES: Joe Crispin added to his leading jockey win total by capturing three races on Tuesday, giving him 13 for the season through five days; six wins over his nearest rival, Clark Jones who has seven.

Trainer Ben Root and Jockey Juan Gutierrez combined for a pair of wins on the day winning the opener with Tis Dawn and the fifth race with Best Hoff.

Leading trainer Jim Fergason posted three wins on Monday, not two, as noted in Monday’s release. Fergason entered Tuesday’s card with nine total wins.

CURRENT JOCKEY STANDINGS
October 8 – October 17, 2006
Joe Crispin 13
Clark E. Jones 8
Melissa Peery 5
Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo 4
Jerry Remer 3
Javier Ortega 3

CURRENT TRAINER STANDINGS
October 8 – October 17, 2006
Jim Fergason 9
Robert Baze 5
Ben Root 5
Fred Hepton 4
Tom Longstaff 3