08/19/2010 3:50PM

Heros Reward eyes Mister Diz repeat

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Heros Reward will be seeking to defend his title in Saturday's Mister Diz at Laurel Park.

The millionaire Heros Reward, a multple graded stakes winner, makes a rare appearance against restricted company in the $50,000 Mister Diz Stakes at Laurel Park.

Now 8, Heros Reward has won three stakes at the Grade 3 and Grade 2 level during a career in which he has won 11 of 30 starts on turf and $1.1 million overall. As recently as July 4, Heros Reward missed by a neck in the Grade 2 Highlander at Woodbine. Last time out, in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National, Heros Reward failed to show his customary early speed and finished 10th of 11.

In his only two previous appearances in restricted company, Heros Reward won last year's Mister Diz, a six-furlong turf sprint for Maryland-breds, and was third as the 3-5 favorite in last fall's Maryland Million Turf Sprint.

One of the horses who beat Heros Reward is back to face him again. Natural Seven, who rallied from eighth to win the Maryland Million Turf Sprint by 1 1/4 lengths, is rematched with Heros Reward for the third time since finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind his familar foe in last year's Mister Diz. Natural Seven finished 5 1/4 lengths behind Heros Reward in the Turf Sprint at Pimlico in April and a neck ahead of him in the July 31 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup.

Most of the others in the full field of older sprinters appear to have been entered in the hope that the race might get moved to the main track, including the 7-year-old Ah Day, a 14-time winner on dirt who was fifth when trying turf for only the second time in his long career in last year's Mister Diz.