04/09/2011 12:58PM

Mountaineer: As always, Amoss runners must be respected


High-percentage trainers based in Kentucky have long known the value of shipping to West Virginia to run horses in conditioned allowance races that are relatively easy pickings at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The group includes Lou Ruberto Jr., William Cowans, and Joe Woodard. Ruberto went 26 for 62 at Mountaineer last season, and is off to a 5-for-6 start since the 2011 meet opened in March. Cowans has gone 23 for 56 (41 percent) with his Mountaineer invaders the past two years, while Woodard owns a 20-for-76 record (34 percent) during that same span and is 6 for 15 so far this spring.

Monday night, in the second of two allowance races on a 10-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, Kentucky trainer Tom Amoss makes his first excursion this year to Mountaineer with the 5-year-old mare Courante. She is part of an eight-horse field in race 9, a six-furlong, $25,800 allowance for fillies and mares that have never won four races.

Courante was based at Delta Downs during the winter, finishing fifth in both of her starts this year. In two previous visits to Mountaineer, Courante won an allowance for nonwinners-of-three-lifetime in mid-September and finished third in a third-level allowance in November.

Over the past two years, Amoss is 27 for 72 (38 percent) with the horses he has brought to Mountaineer. That includes a 13-for-36 mark (36  percent) and 72 percent in the money with allowance runners.

In the absence of the track’s leading rider, Deshawn Parker, who is set to begin a suspension for a riding infraction, Amoss has given the mount to Oswald Pereira, who ranks second in the track’s jockey standings.

The stiffest challenges to Courante figure to come from Kayle Princess, who won back-to-back allowance races at Thistledown and Mountaineer last season before going off form, and Kentucky shipper Snowscape, who switches from Polytrack to dirt after posting a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure for her fifth-place finish in the Queen Stakes at Turfway Park ltwo weeks ago.

◗ Race 8, a $23,000 allowance at six furlongs for nonwinners-of-three-lifetime, features the comeback of Arashi Cat, a 5-year-old who has been off since two dull races at Del Mar in the summer of 2009. As a 2-year-old in 2008, Arashi Cat finished third, beaten just two lengths, in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue.