08/02/2009 11:00PM

B. B. Best aging, but gracefully


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. hopes to get B. B. Best back on the beam with a class drop Wednesday into a second-level $32,000 claimer at Monmouth Park.

A 7-year-old gelding, B. B. Best fashioned a three-race winning streak that started at Gulfstream Park and continued at Monmouth with consecutive third-level allowance victories. He earned Beyer Speed Figures of 94 and 95 in the Monmouth wins, numbers that would make him the one to beat in this spot.

The roll came to an abrupt halt last time out in a fourth-level $75,000 claimer, where B. B. Best was the trailer in a five-horse field.

"The last race, he didn't have things his own way and he didn't run up to par," Plesa said. "That was a tougher race. I think he'll run better in this spot."

This is a two-level drop as B.B. Best is the only runner carrying the $32,000 tag.

"He's getting older," Plesa said. "As we get older, maybe we don't do as well as we did. We hope he rebounds from the last effort to duplicate what he did before that."

B. B. Best, 10 for 40 in his career with earnings of $734,995, faces five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race. Joe Bravo has the return call.

Evenings End, primarily a sprinter for most of his 17-race career, carried his speed nicely for one mile and 70 yards, holding the place spot in a similar race here last month. The New Jersey-bred figures to again be a pace factor. He breaks from the rail with Daniel Centeno aboard for trainer Tim Kelly.

Blue Lion comes off an eighth-place finish on the turf at Churchill Downs. Two starts back, Blue Lion cruised to a first-level allowance win by 3 1/2 lengths, beating three rivals in an off-the-turf situation.

In 14 career starts, Blue Lion has run on grass 11 times. Leading rider Elvis Trujillo will be aboard.

Blind Hero is the least experienced runner in the race, making only his fifth start. He returns to the scene of his first-level win last summer, a hard-charging victory after falling 10 lengths off the lead.

In his first start this season, Blind Hero was the distant trailer in a four-horse field in the slop at Delaware Park. Carlos Marquez, Jr. rides for trainer Alan Goldberg.

Precursor and Hop Skip and Away complete the field.