02/25/2010 12:00AM

Comedero pays first visit home


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Comedero is coming home. An Arkansas-bred who has never been beaten at six furlongs, he will make his first start at Oaklawn at that distance Saturday in the $60,000 Mountain Valley. The race is the first of two possible local appearances for Comedero, who also is a candidate for the $50,000 Rainbow for Arkansas-breds here March 28.

But Michael Stidham, who trains Comedero for Peter Redekop, said the first order of business for Comedero is the Mountain Valley. The race caters to 3-year-olds who prefer sprinting or who are not yet ready for two turns. The field of nine also includes stakes winners Grand Slam Andre and Vito Filitto, who was cross-entered in a Friday night stakes at Delta Downs.

Comedero has made three starts at six furlongs. He won his debut and the $50,000 Razorback Futurity for Arkansas-breds at Louisiana Downs last fall, then accounted for the $56,000 Old Hickory at Fair Grounds on Nov. 7. From there, Comedero made his two-turn debut in the $200,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park. He was the favorite and finished 11th after racing fifth for much of the race in a performance that ruled out a two-turn campaign for the horse this spring.

Comedero has not started since that Dec. 13 stakes. He was a late scratch in a recent Fair Grounds stakes after he sat down in the starting gate. Stidham said the horse was not injured, has worked back twice, and figures to be a forward factor Saturday from post 6.

"He's a quick horse; that's his game," Stidham said. "I expect to see him on or near the lead."[

Cliff Berry has the mount.

Activity Report is another quick horse, and he enters the Mountain Valley off a wire-to-wire win in a $40,000 optional claimer at a mile at Oaklawn on Jan. 16. Terry Thompson has the mount from post 8.

"I expect him to be laying one-two all the way," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said of Activity Report. "He's quick, very quick."

Activity Report won his debut at five furlongs, leading throughout in the Churchill race last June.

A solid pace would benefit Backwater Blues, who stalked and pounced his way to a neck win in a $40,000 optional claimer at Oaklawn in his last start Jan. 23. Abel Castellano Jr. has the mount for trainer Cindy Jones.