06/29/2007 11:00PM

Heza Wild Guy has improved


Fans attending Indiana Downs on Tuesday should be quite familiar with the field assembled for the $45,000 A.J. Foyt Stakes as nearly all have started at least once this meet. All except for Heza Wild Guy, who nonetheless could go favored in the closing day feature for Indiana-breds at about one mile on turf.

Heza Wild Guy, who ships in from Canterbury for trainer Bernell Rhone, is no stranger to Indiana Downs, but is certainly a better horse now than when local bettors last laid eyes on him. No better than third in three previous tries over the Indiana turf, Heza Wild Guy has since developed into a solid starter allowance and optional claiming runner, and was recently fifth in the Brooks Fields Stakes at Canterbury.

The local contingent is headed by Play Smart, a recent allowance winner in his turf debut, and Pirate's Bid, who has finished worse than second only once in his last 10 starts. Play Smart, who has stakes-class form on the dirt, perhaps poses the bigger threat to Heza Wild Guy as Pirate's Bid will be rising for the first time above the $7,500 starter handicap level.

Others of note are stakes winners Father John, a likely pacesetter; Liepers Fork, who will figure more prominently if the race is moved to the dirt; and Wave Land Groovy, who posted a 104-1 shocker in winning the Governor's Stakes on June 5 for his first career win.