05/25/2007 11:00PM

Deputy Glitters makes debut on turf


Two horses who have been facing classy company but have never raced on grass are nevertheless the track’s morning-line favorites in the $75,000 one-mile turf features at Mountaineer Race Track.

Deputy Glitters, winner of last year’s Grade 2 Ohio Derby, is the 122-pound highweight and 3-1 favorite in the Memorial Day Handicap, which goes as race 4.

One race earlier, Maggie Slew, third in a pair of Grade 3 stakes as a 3-year-old in 2006, is listed as the 3-1 choice in the Decoration Day Handicap for fillies and mares.

Of the two turf newcomers, Maggie Slew seems best-suited to make the surface switch. She faces 11 rivals whose success on grass has primarily come in races other than stakes.

No better than fourth in two dirt sprints to start her 2007 campaign, Maggie Slew has recorded three consecutive bullet workouts on turf at Churchill Downs since late April.

There is, however, one reason not to take too short of a price on Maggie Slew. Her trainer, David R. Vance, is 0 for 33 with first-time turf runners the past five years.

Among the alternatives, Tiz Nik carries nine pounds less than the favorite and is coming off a close second against high-priced optional claimers at Tampa Bay Downs.

Bold Passage, second against Ohio-bred stakes runners at River Downs last summer, makes her first start for Wayne McDonnell, who claimed her. McDonnell is 4 for 10 first time off the claim the past two seasons.

Deputy Glitters was far back over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in his only start this season. He shows no workouts over the grass and his trainer, Greg Fox, is 0 for 12 with first-time turf runners the past five years.

Deputy Glitters faces a tough group that includes the Kentucky-based Solo Cat, who won this race last year, and Cherokee Prince, a wire-to-wire winner in two turf stakes locally in 2006.