08/30/2008 12:00AM

Columbus: Staroscik has potent pair


The $10,000 Labor Day Stakes closes out the 24-day season at Columbus as a field of eight older horses go 6 1/2 furlongs.

Trainer Larry Staroscik will send out the likely favorite in a coupled entry of Bevys Best and Mike's Pet, who both are coming off a win. Standing in their way will be First Class Brass, the defending champ in this race who is still seeking his first win of the year.

Bevys Best has been a win machine for Staroscik and his owner, Tim I. Munson de Pascua, winning 7 of his 10 career starts, including a trio of stakes this year. His early speed will be put to the test in this spot as he goes beyond six furlongs for the first time this year. His entrymate, Mike's Pet, ran down First Class Brass in the stretch of an optional claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs to win by 1 1/4 lengths and should be doing his best running through the stretch again on Monday.

First Class Brass made what looked like a winning move in the race won by Mike's Pet. He sat just off the early lead and made a strong move through the far turn to draw clear by three lengths in upper stretch on Aug. 15. The move may have come too early, as Mike's Pet rolled on by through the final sixteenth and pacesetting Blake Rattlenroll came back to nip First Class Brass by a nose for second. Trainer Kelli Martinez will give her husband, Armando Martinez, a leg up as First Class Brass looks to rebound off that loss.