09/03/2011 2:53PM

Mountaineer: Kiss Mine back for repeat attempt in Summer Finale


Kentucky-based mare Kiss Mine, unbeaten in four trips to Mountaineer Racetrack for turf stakes, will try to keep her perfect record intact when she returns to West Virginia to defend her title in Monday’s Summer Finale Stakes.

The Summer Finale, which goes as race 2 on a nine-race holiday card that begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, is the second of two $75,000 stakes scheduled for a mile and 70 yards on turf. The program begins with the Labor Day.

As a 4-year-old last season, Kiss Mine won 5 of 9 starts, including both of her starts locally in the West Virginia President’s Cup and the Summer Finale, easily winning the Summer Finale by 3 1/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite. Although 0 for 6 elsewhere this year, Kiss Mine took the Decoration Day as the even-money favorite and repeated in last month’s West Virginia President’s Cup, scoring by a 1 1/2 lengths at even-money. She gets in at 123 pounds for her repeat bid in the Summer Finale and will have a new rider in Terry Thompson.

Her stiffest competition in the full field of 12 figures to come from A She’s Adorable. Off for nearly a year because of a fractured elbow and then a factured cannon bone, A She’s Adorable has returned this summer to win both of her comeback races, a third-level optional claimer at her home track, Arlington Park, and then the Lady Canterbury at Canterbury Park.

Other contenders include Grecian Maiden, a stakes winner as a 3-year-old in 2010 who returned from a seven-month layoff to win a high-priced optional claimer at Penn National; Abuela, upset winner of the Ellis Park Turf on July 23; and the Todd-Pletcher trained Golden Galleon, who may have disliked the soft ground she encountered in her first two career appearances in stakes.

Labor Day: Mystic heads field

Mystic, who shipped in from Churchill Downs to win the first stakes of his career in last month’s West Virginia Speaker’s Cup, heads a field of 11 older males in the Labor Day.

A 4-year-old trained by Bill Mott, Mystic came from sixth, 8 1 /2 lengths behind after the first half-mile, to get up by a neck while traveling the same distance as Monday night’s mile-and-70-yard Labor Day.

Another Churchill invader, Rules of Honor, who came from last to get third, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, is back to try and turn the tables on Mystic.

Cryptolight and Sneakin Thru, third and fourth in last year’s Labor Day, are returning. Although each is just 1 for 8 on grass, Sneakin Thru missed by a nose in the one-mile Independence Day locally and was third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, in the one-mile Memorial Day. Cryptolight is back on the grass for the first time in a full year. His last eight starts have come on dirt, highlighted by a win in the Mountaineer Mile last November and a close fourth in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap two starts ago in June.