09/04/2010 12:30PM

Familiar foes meet again in Labor Day

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Vanquisher, winning the Kitten's Joy at Colonial Downs, goes for his third straight stakes victory in Monday's Labor Day.

Mountaineer’s farewell to summer has the look of a summer rerun. Several of the same horses who played prominent roles in turf stakes on last month’s West Virginia Derby undercard will be back in action for the $75,000 turf stakes co-features that kick off Monday’s Labor Day card.

The mile-and-70-yard Labor Day, which goes as race 1, pits three of the five top runners from the West Virginia Speaker’s Cup, including winner Vanquisher and runner-up Timeless Fashion, who were separated by a half-length.

The second race, the Summer Finale for fillies and mares going a mile and 70 yards, brings back four of the top six from the West Virginia Senate President’s Cup, led by one-two finishers Kiss Mine and Mimi’s Special Six.

The 6-year-old Vanquisher, based at Delaware Park with trainer Greg Griffith, is a head away from bringing a three-race winning streak into Monday’s Labor Day Stakes. He followed up a narrow loss in the Da Hoss at Colonial Downs by winning the Kittens Joy at Colonial and the West Virginia Speaker’s Cup, coming far off the pace both times. Rosemary Homeister Jr., who was aboard for each of his last three races, retains the mount.

Timeless Fashion, who is a combined 9 for 17 on turf and synthetic surfaces, led wire to wire in Mountaineer’s Independence Day, but got caught in deep stretch by Vanquisher last time out. Timeless Fashion looks to be the controlling speed from the rail Monday.


The intriguing newcomer in the lineup is Allie’s Event, who has been no worse than second in 9 of 11 starts on turf and synthetic surfaces. He ships in from Presque Isle Downs off a two-length score going a mile on Tapeta and ran well on turf last spring at Tampa Bay Downs. But his trainer, Lori Smock, is 0 for 8 with runners switching from synthetics to turf, including two losses by Allie’s Event.

The 4-year-old Kiss Mine, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Dave Vance, will try to make it four wins in a row in the Summer Finale. She must concede 10 to 13 pounds to her opponents as the 125-pound highweight following back-to-back victories in the West Virginia Senate President’s Cup and the Ellis Park Turf. Jon Court, who was aboard for the win at Ellis Park, comes in from Kentucky to ride Kiss Mine.

Mimi’s Special Six, making her stakes debut, led until deep stretch when she faced Kiss Mine last time. A 4-year-old, Mimi’s Special Six is still eligible for a nonwinners-of-two-lifetime condition and is just 1 for 9 lifetime on turf.

The top new face looks like War Tigress, a Keeneland-based filly who most recently earned a career-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure for her third-place finish in the Lady Canterbury in late July. She is winless in seven starts over the last two years, however, and the runners from the Lady Canterbury are a combined 0 for 6 in their next starts.