Portland Meadows: Stay in Grace Faces Males in Sophomore Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 4th, 2018

If you want to have some fun playing the races this Sunday, consider trying something a little different and take a look at the eight-race card being offered at Portland Meadows in Oregon.

On a day that’s fairly quiet in terms of major racing action, Portland Meadows will host three small stakes races that have drawn small but quality fields.

First up is the $10,000 Sophomore Stakes for three-year-olds going six furlongs. The heavy favorite on the morning line at odds of 4-5 is the unbeaten filly Stay in Grace, who has won her first three starts by a combined 20 lengths. She’ll be facing colts in the Sophomore Stakes, but that shouldn’t be an issue—she crushed a good field of male rivals by 3 ¾ lengths in the Detroit Lake Handicap over this track and distance on November 26th. Take Charge Deputy and Grinning Tiger, second and third in the Detroit Lake Handicap, will be back to try to turn the tables.

The second stakes race of the day is the $10,000 Ladies Overnight Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for older mares. The clear favorite figures to be Winninginfashion, who brings a five-race win streak into the Ladies’ Handicap, a streak that includes four stakes wins at Portland Meadows. Hailing from the barn of Rigoberto Velasquez, the leading trainer at the last two Portland Meadows meets, Winninginfashion has lots of early speed and has earned the best speed figures in the Ladies Handicap field, making her one of the more likely winners on the card.

Rounding out the stakes action is the six-furlong $10,000 Oregon HBPA Overnight Handicap for older males. In a race that appears fairly competitive on paper, Grinder Sparksaglo should be favored after winning three stakes races at Portland Meadows last fall, but he’ll need to rebound from a fourth-place finish in the Crater Lake Handicap last time out. Ontheshadyside, gate-to-wire winner of the Crater Lake, will be seeking another front-running upset, while the six-year-old Mr. Takahashi looms as an intriguing longshot after earning a series of quick speed figures while competing in claiming and starter allowance races at Portland Meadows.

Post time for the first race of the day is 3:00 p.m. Eastern.