07/03/2009 11:00PM

Key prep for Driving Snow


Driving Snow shoots for his first North American win on Tuesday when a full field of 12 3-year-old colts and geldings run in the $200,000 Oliver Stakes at Indiana Downs.

Trained by Darrin Miller, Driving Snow was campaigned in Ireland for his first four starts of 2008 before being shipped to Keeneland to run in the Grade 3 Woodford Reserve Bourbon on Oct. 5. In that 1 1/16-mile turf event, Driving Snow came from well back in the full field to run second, beaten only a head.

"He put in a big race is in his first start over here," said Miller. "He was very impressive and we expect big things from him."

"Driving Snow has been training well at Churchill. It took us a while to get him back to the races, but I am extremely pleased with how he is doing. I expect a a big effort Tuesday."

The Oliver is a one-mile turf race and there is plenty of speed in the field, which should suit Driving Snow's running style.

"In his races over there he was in midpack most of the time," Miller said of Driving snow's races in ireland. "I think because he was a 2-year-old and had just shipped over, he kind of took himself back at Keeneland and wanted to see what was going on. He has a bunch of gears, so he should be easy to rate where we want him."

If all goes as expected in the Oliver, Driving Snow will be pointed to the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat on Aug. 8 at Arlington Park, according to Miller. Miguel Mena will ride.

No Inflation comes into the Oliver off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Jefferson Cup at Churchill on June 13. In that 1 1/8-mile turf race, No Inflation had trouble in the stretch and was beaten a length. Trained by Tom Proctor, No Inflation previously ran second in the Arlington Classic on May 23. Jesus Castanon will ride.

* Heza Wild Guy figures to be the heavy favorite in a field of 12 when he seeks a repeat in the $70,000 A.J. Foyt (race 3). Now 8, Heza Wild Guy won last year's Foyt, a 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to Indiana-registered older horses, by 8 1/4 lengths.

Trained by Bernell Rhone, Heza Wild Guy has won 15 of 37 lifetime turf starts and six of his last 10 races. Tommy Pompell will ride.