09/06/2009 11:00PM

Favorites relish switch to muddy main track


Heavy favorites Encaustic and Hungry Tigress didn't mind the move from turf to a muddy main track for Monday's co-featured $75,000 stakes at Mountaineer Racetrack.

Encaustic ($3.40), who had raced on grass just once the last two years, sped to the front and held off sescond choice Cryptolight by three-quarters of a length to win the mile-and-70-yard Labor Day Stakes. It was another 12 1/2 lengths back to Guardianofthenorth.

A 5-year-old based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland with Mark Shuman, Encaustic covered the distance in the mud in 1:41.7 under Ricardo Feliciano.

One race later, Hungry Tigress ($3.40), whose previous 11 career races had all been on turf or synthetic surfaces, romped by 14 lengths in the Summer Finale Handicap for fillies and mares. Ridden by John Mckee for trainer William Connelly, Hungry Tigress ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:41.95 while winning for the first time since taking a first-level allowance in August 2008.

Pissarro finished second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Rivie.