12/09/2009 12:00AM

Forest Attack back to best venue


When he raced at Churchill Downs on Nov. 14, nothing seemed in Forest Attack's favor. Off for more than seven months, he was returning on dirt - a surface on which he was winless - and he drew the low-percentage rail. Those hurdles proved too much for him to overcome, and Forest Attack faded to fifth in the field of six after setting a contested pace on the inside.

Forest Attack returns Friday evening in a third-level optional $50,000 claimer at Turfway Park that goes as the ninth race of a 12-race card. The conditions of the 6 1/2-furlong race indicate Forest Attack should give a much improved performance.

With the benefit of a recent start, Forest Attack should be fit, and the opportunity to race over Turfway's Polytrack surface should elevate his game. All five of his career victories have come on Polytrack, and four have come at Turfway.

Forest Attack is also much more favorably drawn on the far outside in the field of six, which should allow jockey Miguel Mena the opportunity to let the colt place himself in a comfortable position, either pressing or stalking the pace on the outside - traditionally the best part of the track at Turfway.

A 5-year-old son of Forestry trained by Mike Maker, Forest Attack is the fastest horse in the race. Four times over his last eight starts, he has run Beyer Speed Figures of 96 or higher - numbers that exceed the career-best Beyers of his opponents, none of whom has run faster than a 94.

Although Flavor has not run as fast as Forest Attack, he enters Friday's card with the strongest recent form, having won three straight races, including a second-level allowance at Churchill on Nov. 21 over Warrior's Reward, a graded-stakes-placed colt.

Although Flavor ran quickly in winning that six-furlong race in 1:09.98, earning a 94 Beyer, that race came on dirt. Flavor has not run better than an 81 Beyer on Polytrack, although he is a two-time winner on it, with both victories coming at Keeneland.

Rounding out the field are four other entrants: Dynamite Bob, the runner-up in the Sophomore Sprint Championship at Mountaineer on Nov. 17; Acts Like a King, a multiple stakes-winning Ohio-bred; Azicharmyou, who finished in front of Forest Attack on Nov. 14; and veteran Ok Nothanksforaskn, a winner of 9 of 49 starts.