Leg 2 of the Route Claiming Series draws 18 runners

Leg 2 of the Route Claiming Series draws 18 runners

Eighteen horses will go to the gates on Monday at Portland Meadows in search of not only the winner’s share of the $5,000 purse, but points to qualify them for a spot in the starting gate of the $25,000 Route Claiming Series Finals on March 14th.  But first things first, two divisions of Leg 2 of the Route Claiming Series have been drawn as races 7 and 9 on Monday, Presidents Day at Portland Meadows.   Both races are at one mile and one eighth and offer a purse of $5,000.  Both races are also claiming races, with a $4,000 claiming tag attached to each runner.  The Route Claiming Series races share the card with the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Derby, The Oregon Ms. Stakes, and the Portland Meadows Championship Bonus Challenge for Quarter Horses.

Race 7 is the first of the two divisions features two of the winners from Leg 1, Carlsbad Lagoon and Doctor Pav.  Carlsbad Lagoon put in a big rally from last two catch Castle Pines in their division of Leg 1, scoring by an open five lengths.  He was claimed out of that start and will make his debut for the G.D. Khalsa barn on Monday.  Khalsa took the Sprint Claiming Series Final in December with Colonel Courtney, so he knows a thing or two about getting a horse ready for these Claiming Series races.  Doctor Pav got a very heady ride from Joe Crispin in his division of Leg 1 as they made a bold move up the rail at the 3/8ths pole to take command early and drew off to an impressive win.  Crispin is back on board for trainer Jesse Velasquez and Doctor Pav will break from post position number five.

Watch Your Money finished a good closing second behind Doctor Pav last time out and should be running late again, as he makes his debut for the Nick Lowe barn, as he was claimed out of Leg 1.  Meshuguna was also claimed out of his sub-par performance in Leg 1, and will look to rebound for trainer John Harris.  Meshuguna has drawn the rail, which should help him as he was wide last time out. 

Race 9 is the second of the two divisions of Leg 2 and features Swiss Exploit who is coming off an impressive front running score in his division of Leg 1.  Swiss Exploit will once again be ridden by jockey Debbie Hoonan and once again looks as though he could be lone speed.   Taking Liberties certainly will take some backing at the windows as he was second to Swiss Exploit last time out.  He made a run at the winner that day, but really was no match and will have to improve to topple that rival.

The 13 year old veteran West Seattle Boy has drawn the outside post position in division 2 and will likely be closing late if he gets some pace to run into under jockey Joe Crispin.  West Seattle Boy has hit the board in 12 of his 21 career starts at Portland Meadows.  Simperio could be one to watch as well as he was claimed by Michael Pollowitz and G.D. Khalsa out of Leg 1.  They had great success together in the McFadden Memorial Sprint Claiming Series last fall, as they claimed Declan Downs in Leg 1 and won with him in Leg 2, and claimed Colonel Courtney in Leg 2 and won with him in the finals. 

Not only will the runners in the Route Claiming Series be contesting for a $5,000 purse, they’ll also be trying to earn points for the Route Claiming Series Finals on March 14th, which offers a purse of $25,000.  Here are the point standings after Leg 1:

1.  Swiss Exploit, 5 points
1.  Carlsbad Lagoon, 5 points

1.  Dr. Pav, 5 points
4.  Taking Liberties, 4 points
4.  Castle Pines, 4 points
4.  Watch Your Money, 4 points
7.  West Seattle Boy, 3 points
7.  Capella Etoile, 3 points
7.  General Joe, 3 points
10.  Mamoonya, 2 points**(not entered in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
10.  Tribute to Sissy, 2 points
10.  Saratoga’s Magic, 2 points**(not  entered in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
13.  Loose Tappets, 1 point
13.  Ezinmotion, 1 point
13.  Simperio, 1 point

Post Positions for Leg 2:

Race 7
1.  Meshuguna
2.  Ezinmotion
3.  Carlsbad Lagoon
4.  Castle Pines
5.  Doctor Pav
6.  Catanita
7.  Capella Etoile
8.  Loose Tappets
9.  Watch Your Money

Race 9
1.  Turntable Bay
2.  Little Mordi
3.  Swiss Exploit
4.  Simperio
5.  Taking Liberties
6.  Tribute To Sissy
7.  General Joe
8.  Outside Shot
9.  West Seattle Boy