07/04/2007 12:00AM

Liepers Fork benefits from surface switch


When the $45,000 A.J. Foyt Stakes was switched from turf to dirt Tuesday at Indiana Downs, the news could not have been better for Liepers Fork. Winless in four previous starts on the turf, but a stakes winner on dirt less than two months ago, Liepers Fork took advantage of the surface switch with a late-closing 1o1/2-length win over favored Play Smart, who held second by a neck over Heza Wild Guy.

Liepers Fork ($18.60), under jockey Victor Lebron, covered a mile and 70 yards over a fast track in 1:42.43. The Foyt was the second stakes win of the meet for the Don Goeing-trained Liepers Fork, who earlier took the six-furlong William Henry Harrison and thus made a clean sweep of all the stakes for which he was eligible during the Indiana Downs meet, which ended Tuesday.

Lebron won the Indiana Downs riding title with 61 wins, 11 more than the runner-up. The leading trainer with 31 wins was Ralph Martinez, who had a 28 percent winning rate.