08/12/2010 3:18PM

The Flying Whizzer part of Continental Mile puzzle


OCEANPORT, N.J. – The $100,000 Continental Mile, the supporting stakes to the Monmouth Oaks on Saturday, is usually a puzzler.

Last year, Two Notch Road sprang a 107-1 upset in the race for 2-year-olds on the turf.

This edition is another handicapping challenge. None of the 11 runners has captured a stakes. Five have never run on grass. Only two, Mesonic and Powhatan County, have scored wins at a mile or longer.

And one, The Flying Whizzer, will be debuting for a new trainer.

The Flying Whizzer joined Jane Cibelli’s barn at Monmouth shortly after finishing a rallying second in the Chenery Stakes at Colonial Downs on July 17.

“This is an odd race,” Cibelli said. “There are couple of tough horses in there and some horses you just don’t know.”

The Flying Whizzer ran twice at Calder in May on dirt and finished way up the track both times. The gelding perked up on the shift north to Virginia and the switch to turf. The Flying Whizzer posted his maiden win in his third start and followed that with the runner-up effort in the Chenery.

Distance is the challenge for The Flying Whizzer, who has not gone beyond 5 1/2 furlongs.

Cibelli thinks the son of Spanish Steps is up to task.

“I think he will get the distance,” Cibelli said. “I breezed him on the turf and it looked like he could handle it. We’ll find out if he’s good enough. He’ll have to step up a little bit.”

Both Mesonic and Powhatan County scored maiden wins in their first tries on turf. Mesonic pulled away to a 4 3/4-length win going one mile at Arlington Park, while Powhatan County got up in the final strides at Saratoga in a 1 1/16-mile race.

◗ Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte, who swept the 1973 Triple Crown aboard Secretariat, will be at Monmouth on Saturday and Sunday to sign autographs. Turcotte’s appearance is part of the promotional tour for the upcoming movie “Secretariat,” which will be released Oct. 8.