By Tom Harris

Last year’s Portland Meadows Mile winner Grinder Sparksaglo tops the list of candidates in the opening day feature of The Inaugural Handicap at Five and one half furlongs. The three year old and upward contest has lured a field of nine in the main event which will be run as the 8th race of the day.

Owned by Richard Sena and Trained by Robbie Baze, the seven year old son of Grindstone will be ridden by Jockey Nathan Haar who returns to Portland Meadows after a season ending injury suffered last year. Since the victory in The 2018 Portland Meadows Mile, Grinder Sparksaglo recorded two wins vs. solid allowance optional company at Emerald Downs this past summer. With earnings of over $200,000, the Washington Bred gelding will be making his 50th career start in Sunday’s Inaugural Handicap.

Opposition will come from several challengers in the Sunday sprint such as The Press who recently won a claiming test at Emerald Downs for Owner and Trainer Howard Belvoir. The Press is a five year old By Harbor The Gold and will be making his Portland Meadows debut in the Sunday affair. Papa Frank comes off of a long layoff for Mary Tate & Shane Bailey after multiple stakes placings last season at the Portland oval. Trainer Mary Tate will give the assignment to Jockey Jose Zunino for the trip. The youthful Cody’s Choice will be taking on older horses in The Inaugural after putting up three wins at the Emerald Downs meet. The speedy Cody’s Choice is trained locally by Ashley Ann Potts with new arrival Jockey Patrick Henry Jr. to sport the colors for White Diamond Syndicate.

The nine race card will have a 12 noon post time at Portland Meadows which offers free parking and free admission every live race day. The track will also offer Opening Day Specials featuring $1 Beer, Soft drinks, programs and hot dogs.