09/20/2009 11:00PM

Up Country has much in his favor


Up Country, who has been facing much faster horses in West Virginia and comes from a highly successful owner-trainer combination, poses a major threat in the lone allowance race on Tuesday's card at Finger Lakes.

The problem, however, is that Up Country is part of a coupled entry for trainer Chris Englehart in the seventh race, a six-furlong sprint for horses which have never won two races. Since jockey John Davila Jr. is named on both Up Country and stablemate Air Attack, one will scratch.

Up Country is owned by Maggi Moss, whose Englehart-trained horses have won 118 races, at a 37 percent clip, since 2007. That percentage climbs to 41 percent in races at Finger Lakes, according to Daily Racing Form's Formulator.

The Beyer Speed Figures are in Up Country's favor, too.

In his first attempt on dirt following six races on Polytrack at Woodbine, Up Country romped by 9 1/2 lengths, earning a 77 Beyer Figure, facing maiden special weight company at Mountaineer Racetrack. He followed up by matching that Beyer in a first-level allowance two weeks ago.

If Up Country doesn't go, then the race becomes wide open, with five horses showing Beyers between 57 and 62 in one of their two most recent starts, and one other who is difficult to gauge with four races in the 40s and a relatively fast maiden victory.

Six Flings is the intriguing horse from that group. He dominated five maiden special weight rivals two starts ago, earning a 67 Beyer that would make him a major threat if he can repeat it. In his first start against winners, however, he regressed to a 49 that is more in line with his first three career races.

On the plus side, Six Flings exits what turned out to be a key race. The runner-up, Patron Saint, returned to win an allowance on Sept. 8 and the eighth-place finisher, Brassy Event, came back to defeat $4,000 claimers.

Aoja shows three Beyers of 60 or better and could be poised for a peak effort making his third start off a layoff. All of his good races, however, have come against New York-breds.

Fenway Sox, lightly raced with just three starts, has moved forward on the Beyer scale every time and comes off a nice maiden win. His trainer, Paul Barrow, is 0 for 10, with last-out maiden winners facing allowance company, however.