10/06/2004 11:00PM

If he shows up, A Huevo should control race


An 8-year-old gelding who hasn't raced at Charles Town since setting a track record five years ago and a 4-year-old filly who has gone off the favorite in her last nine starts while rarely disappointing her supporters headline Saturday night's 18th annual West Virginia Breeders Classics program.

A Huevo, a highly talented but often injured runner trained by Michael Dickinson, brings a substantial class edge into the $300,000 Classic at 1 1/8 miles, the premier event on the eight-race program for West Virginia-bred, -sired, or -raised horses.

Fancy Buckles, who has won nine races the past two seasons, should be heavily favored as usual in the top event for fillies and mares, the $250,000 Cavada at seven furlongs. Trained by Tim Grams, Fancy Buckles was second as the 1-2 favorite in last year's Cavada.

Because of infirmities that nearly ended his career at 3, A Huevo was on the sidelines for almost four years after crushing the competition in the 1999 Classic, only to later be disqualified from the purse. His improbable comeback reached its pinnacle when he came from last of 10 to win last November's Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park with a 113 Beyer Speed Figure.

In his only start since then, A Huevo failed to fire in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap on closing weekend at Saratoga. Normally a sprinter, A Huevo will be stretching out beyond seven furlongs for the first time since October 1999.

If A Huevo is fit, he should dominate the field he faces in the Classic. But if he's no longer the same horse, then the race becomes wide open.

Last year's winner, Cape Power, returns to defend his title, but he has been beaten a combined 43 lengths and finished ahead of only one horse in his two starts this season.

The three horses with the best current form - Longfield Spud, Ginger Ale, and the 3-year-old Brigader - are all primarily sprinters.

Ginger Ale, a 5-year-old trained by James Casey, might be the best route runner of the trio. He won an allowance going 1 1/16 miles in June and last month captured a seven-furlong prep for West Virginia Breeders Classic Night.

Longfield Spud finished only a half-length behind Ginger Ale last time out, but is unproven beyond seven furlongs and is 0 for 10 in 2004.

Brigader has run two strong races in a row at seven furlongs, but the Classic will be the first time he has faced older horses and gone beyond seven furlongs.

In the Cavada, which immediately precedes the Classic on the program as race 6, Simon Slew will get an opportunity to prove her 1 1/2-length win at 38-1 over Fancy Buckles on Sept. 26 was no fluke. That win was the lone victory in 18 races over the past two years for the 5-year-old Simon Slew.

The sleeper in the field could be Original Gold, a 4-year-old filly trained by Ronney Brown. She has won her last two starts, both against conditioned allowance rivals, by a combined 18 lengths, including a career-best 84 Beyer going seven furlongs July 4.

Miss Roberson has the potential to complete a rags-to-riches saga. Racing for a $2,500 claiming tag as recently as March, Miss Roberson went on to reel off five straight wins while moving up in company. Her best Beyer of 81, earned going seven furlongs against statebred allowance runners in June, matches the figure Fancy Buckles was awarded for her most recent victory, in the Sadie Hawkins on July 31.

In the other races, each worth $75,000:

* Wild Remarks and Mr. Bondsman, separated by a neck in a similar stakes last month, are rematched in the Vincent Moscarelli for 2-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs.

* The first four finishers from the Sept. 26 Golden Gull, all of whom were within a length of each other, are back in the Triple Crown Nutrition for 2-year-old fillies at 4 1/2 furlongs.

* White Ice, a wire-to-wire winner in a prep stakes last time out, is the horse to beat in the Bureau of Tourism for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.

* Not for Sam, who boasts triple-digit Beyers in his last four starts, looms a heavy favorite in the Dash for Cash at 4 1/2 furlongs.

* Earth Power, winner of last year's Dash for Cash, appears formidable in the seven-furlong Onion Juice after winning two stakes at that distance already this season.

* Deep closers Shekatoo and Take the Plunge come off good recent efforts at the distance in the seven-furlong Lottery for 3-year-olds.