10/02/2010 2:38PM

Johnie Bye Night up against it


Johnie Bye Night owns a 5-for-12 lifetime record racing at Finger Lakes, including three consecutive runnings of the George Barker Memorial Stakes. Despite his past accomplishments and the fact the 8-year-old gelding is dropping to a career-low class level, Johnie Bye Night is not even the strongest part of trainer Charlton Baker’s coupled entry, let alone the favorite, in Tuesday’s featured eighth race at Finger Lakes.

Johnie Bye Night, mired in a 13-race losing streak since winning the Barker for the third time in May 2008, is in for the optional $8,000 claiming tag in a six-furlong race also open to New York-breds who have not won two allowances restricted to statebreds.

Three starts ago, Johnie Bye Night did nearly win a $12,500 claimer against open company, falling a nose short at the wire to Bad Decision. But even a repeat of that effort may not be enough against a solid group that includes his stablemate Boston Chief, the sharp 4-year-old Head Heart Hoof, and the 3-year-old stakes winner Turnpike Token.

The 5-year-old Boston Chief has won seven races for Baker since he was claimed for $7,500 in May 2008. His best recent race came three starts ago when he defeated open company in a second-level optional $12,500 claimer in early July.

Head Heart Hoof was reclaimed by leading trainer Chris Englehart for $7,500 on July 3. He won five times for Englehart between the time he was originally acquired for $4,000 in July 2009 and May 1 of this year, when he was lost for $8,000. In his first start back with Englehart, Head Heart Hoof romped by 5 1/4 lengths for a $6,250 tag while earning a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Head Heart Hoof is coupled with Run Warrior Run, a deep closer who has two seconds and a third in his last three starts, all at the same class level as Monday’s race.

Turnpike Token, claimed for $12,500 by trainer M. Anthony Ferraro in mid-June, returns to his home track after an unsuccessful one-race experiment on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. In his two previous starts, Turnpike Token won the Ontario County for 3-year-olds by a nose, earning a 92 Beyer, and was a close third against older statebreds in the Leon Reed Memorial.