11/20/2010 1:00PM

Dirt a concern for He's Bonafide

Four-Footed Fotos
He's Bonafide (10), winning the Buck's Boy for the second straight year, ships to West Virginia for Monday night's allowance feature at Mountaineer.

He’s Bonafide, who upset the restricted Buck’s Boy Handicap at Hawthorne at odds of 10-1 or better each of the last two years for his only two wins on dirt in his 20-race career, will try to prove those performances were no fluke when he ships from Chicago for Monday night’s featured eighth race at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The no-conditions allowance, with a purse of $33,700, drew a field of seven older horses and will be contested at a mile and 70 yards.

The 4-year-old He’s Bonafide has been something of a synthetic specialist, finishing no worse than second in 8 of 11 career starts on Polytrack at Arlington Park and Woodbine. In contrast, He’s Bonafide is 2 for 7 on dirt, winning the 2009 Buck’s Boy for Illinois-breds by 5 1/2 lengths at 12-1 while trained by Hugh Robertson, earning a career-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure. Claimed by Larry Rivelli for $40,000 in August, He’s Bonafide rallied to win this year’s Buck’s Boy by a neck at 10-1, collecting a 91 Beyer.

Notably, Rivelli is connecting at a remarkable 10-for-22 hit rate (45 percent) with horses he has shipped to Mountaineer for dirt routes the past two seasons.

The two main rivals for He’s Bonafide appear to be the graded stakes-placed No Advantage and the Beulah Park-based Whiskey Tap.

No Advantage, based at Penn National with trainer Stephanie Beattie, was good enough to finish second, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 3 W. Donald Schaefer at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. He most recently finished third in the Mountaineer Mile on Nov. 6.

The 5-year-old No Advantage, winless in nine starts this year, makes the third start of his current form cycle, an angle that has produced a 12-for-39 record for Beattie over the past two seasons.

Although he trains in Ohio with William Cowen, the 4-year-old Whiskey Tap has made his last five starts at Mountaineer, winning three in a row from November 2009 to Sept. 26. Last time out, in the Mountaineer Mile, he was essentially eliminated at the start when he broke awkwardly.

The field also includes the 8-year-old Meadow Vespers, a 13-time winner who finished second going 1 1/8 miles in a restricted stakes at Pinnacle last month, and Sneakin Thru, a turf and synthetic specialist who did win his dirt debut while sprinting in August.