08/12/2009 11:00PM

Heros Reward drops into statebred stakes


Heros Reward, narrowly beaten as the even-money favorite in a Grade 3 stakes in New York last time out, takes a substantial class drop to face Maryland-bred turf sprinters in Saturday's $50,000 Mister Diz Stakes at Laurel Park.

The 7-year-old Heros Reward, whose 10 wins in 23 starts on turf include the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland in April and the Grade 3 Highlander at Woodbine last summer, most recently dueled for the lead and held second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Jaipur at Belmont Park on July 18.

Heros Reward's substantial class edge should more than offset the six pounds in weight he spots all but one of his 10 rivals.

The horse with the best chance to upset Heros Reward might be Natural Seven. A turf sprint specialist who has won 7 of 14 in that category, the 5-year-old Natural Seven most recently finished third to Cardashi, a horse who came back to set a course record at Penn National while winning the $200,000 Pennsylvania Govenor's Cup.

Two others with at least a puncher's chance are Disco Dandy, a front-runner who has been first or second in 4 of 5 starts on turf, and Earlswood Pete, who has been third or better in 4 of 5 starts since May.

Several of the horses in the Mister Diz appear to have been entered in the hope the race gets moved to the main track, most notably Ah Day, a 13-time winner on dirt who is 6 for 7 on wet tracks, and Digger, who is 11 for 27 lifetime, all on the main track.